In the Star-Splitter Robert Frost says:
"You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg across our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney..."
These are the days of winter, when Frost's talk of roaring winds and short days seem all the more pointed. On the few nights that we have had clear skies Orion's belt sparkles as he comes up sideways across our fence of mountains.
We have had storm after storm. The earth is locked in ice, walking is like trying to negotiate frozen surf, choppy, rough, slanting and falling off in every direction. Walking is an adventure in itself, one which you hope won't land you in the hospital. The only way we get in and out of the driveway is by engaging the four wheel drive in the truck.
And the wind! We are shaken like a terrier shakes a rat. The trailer quivers and jumps like a living thing. We were both brought wide awake during the night by a huge crash, but so far we've not seen any damage. Up and down the valley trees are down, awnings and roofs are pried from their moorings and other signs of wind mischief are evident.
At 3:30 pm the temperature is -8, with a wind chill of -16. That's in bright sunshine. The wind is gusting to 50 kmh. Tonight will be bitter. I've thrown out twice the usual amount of bird seed today, trying to fortify my little winged friends for the night ahead.