West Tisbury: The beauty of winter

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— Kyra Steck

It’s snowing! Finally. It started a little after breakfast Monday morning and is looking like it will keep up all day. The weather reports have predicted a real storm all along the East Coast. We’ll see. It will probably turn to rain here, as is usually the case, but maybe it will stay cold and snow will remain on the ground for a few days.

As I sat down to begin writing this column, I looked at my notes and saw that I had been excited about snow falling last Tuesday afternoon. It was pretty slippery when I was driving home from work. It kept up through the evening and we awoke on Wednesday morning to find about an inch, enough to look like a pristine white comforter, puffed and spread out across the lawn.

All that wet snow on the ground afforded perfect conditions for burning our brush pile. Mike called Chief Estrella for a burning permit and headed outside. It was quite a sight. Flames shot high into the air. In no time, the fire had died down, leaving a smoldering circle of smoke and ash.

If you are reading this in time, the Up-Island Council on Aging is hosting a Zoom program about the COVID-19 vaccine this afternoon, Thursday, Feb. 4, at 1 o’clock. Dave Caron, director of pharmacy at Mass General Hospital, will speak and answer questions about administration and community-wide vaccination plans, with information about dosing and possible side effects. To sign up, call Donna Braillard at 508-693-2896 or email her at coa-clerk@westtisbury-ma.gov.

Brad Voight and Elliott Rebhun related a cautionary tale about a scary accident last week, when  their 5-year-old cat, Hillary, crawled into an air duct left open while Brad was cleaning the ducts and vents, a rather routine maintenance project. Hillary fell down the main intake duct, landing in the basement, where she became trapped in a narrow crevice next to the furnace. Fortunately, Marlon Dwyer of Nelson Mechanical answered the call and came straight over to the Millstone Lane home. Hillary was rescued and returned to her favorite spot upstairs, apparently none the worse for her ordeal. Brad and Elliott were both grateful to have Hillary safely home again.

These windy, gray mornings have lightened the sky slowly, allowing us to wake perhaps a little later than usual. I am grateful to be left alone in the early morning instead of being pawed awake by a puppy or cat eager to start the day, meaning eager to get me up and into the kitchen serving their breakfast.

I love the winter quiet, the winter colors, the winter light. Many people find it dull. I watched a low lavender-gray cloud thread its way through bare branches and tree trunks in the woods behind our house. It was anything but dull. The scene may have been more subtle than when those same woods are bedecked in a summer abundance of green leaves and thickly berried shrubbery, but it has its place and its character. It encourages us to look closely.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.