Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 284
Two days ago the wintry clouds that cover the sky above the Observer Tree cracked open to reveal the brilliant sunlight of spring. I threw my arbing rope over a branch above, clipped the rope to my harness and opened the trapdoor below my feet. The leaves of the tree were shimmering like they were made of phosphorescence. I took the rope in my hands and slid down about two meters untill my feet touched a large branch just below the platform. Despite the warm weather, the sun hadn’t managed to completely dry out the ropes and water dripped down my arm and trickled inside my sleeve. Once on the branch, I crept along it until I was in the golden spot … the patch of branch that was radiating in full sunlight. Ahhh… time for basking in the sun. That feeling of warmth being absorbed through my skin… how I had forgotten how good it could be! And then I noticed, that I wasn’t the only one with that idea. There on the sunny branch beside me was Lizzie, the Tasmanian Skink that had spent last summer exploring my tree house. She had crawled out from a small hollow in the tree’s branch and was soaking in the spring-time sun. It was the first time I had seen her for many months. I smiled as the two of us lay stretched out across the branch. It felt like Summer was on its way!
Today I opened my eyes and above me the tarp was bulging under the weight of snow. That’s right.. snow! I looked out across the forest and watched the snow flakes gently making their way down through the trees. I guess summer isn’t so close after all.
I love snow days. No matter how cold it gets. And no matter how I might have been feeling the day before… I can’t help feeling uplifted by the magic of watching this forest in snow. And there is something about September snow that feels different from June snow. Prehaps it feels more precious, because you never know if it will be the last snow of the year…. and you should savour every moment of it. Or prehaps it is easier to appreciate the cold biting at your fingers when you know that in the not-too-distant future the spring sunshine will be warming those very same fingers.
I leaned my head over the edge of the platform and watched, mesmerised. The forest below was shrouded in mist. The trees seemed to rise up out of nothing, their trunks disappearing into white mist until it succumbed to darkness. The snow floated lightly on the air…. submitting to the every whim of the spring breeze. One moment travelling north, the next swilling around and heading back south. Sometimes, the air would lift it up, sucking the snow flakes back towards the sky, like watching the world in reverse. It is can be a very long journey for a snow flake to reach the ground sometimes! The flakes were small and light, and seemed no match for the water-laden branches of the trees, most melting on impact. Only the ones that managed to lodge themselves in the crooks and crevices of branches had a chance of survival. Slowly small piles of white began to gather in patches.
Suddenly the wind picks up and the snow rushes by so fast that it makes white streaks across the green backdrop of the forest. The tree tops stretching and bending with the wind more than seems physically possible. It’s easier to see the pattern of the wind when it is snowing. To watch the white streaks circle and swirl, moving quick and then slow and then quick again. It feels like being on a boat, watching the vastness of the sea heaving around me. The feeling is magnified by the fact that the ground has fallen away out of sight beneath the layer of mist. My platform sways, riding the waves of a turbulent sea of trees. And then, as quickly as it arrived, the wind vanishes. And once more, the snow flakes are free to take their time, meandering their way through branches towards the misty depths below.
As for me… I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing that sitting here with the steam from a warm cup of tea rising steadily beside me, as I take in the splendor of the upper canopy.