Where’s the snow? What effect would a snowless winter have on the plants, birds and animals of our territory? My beekeeper friend also farms garlic. The crop won’t do well if snow doesn’t come soon, he tells me. Garlic needs insulation!
I know that the partridge needs snowdrifts to dig into to find himself a cozy spot to wait out a spell of bitter cold temperatures. The rabbit needs snow to establish his trail (runway). He follows it for the duration of the season to assure his survival!
My mother used to say that a stretch of bitter cold is needed now and then over the course of the winter. Kills the cold and flu viruses running amok, she claimed. Makes sense!
It seems to me that this winter is gearing up to be a doozy where misery brought on by sickness is concerned. Everywhere I go I hear noses being honked, wheezing throats being cleared, spitting, groans and moans, left, right and centre. All this even with the amazing cure-all, better known as the ‘flu shot’ (never got one myself). I just hope it all stays under control.
One of the things I hate to see is a child, especially those from infant to toddler age, worn out by a bad cold or flu. I feel so bad, I’d take it from them and bring it to myself to deal with if I could. At least I’d know what was going on, they don’t. No child should suffer!
Because there is little snow, I was able to get into my camp from the road just a few days ago. The kilometre-long walk in was nice, I moved slowly along, hoping to catch a glimpse of deer or any of the other forest dwelling creatures. Had no luck with that, but I was fascinated by the evidence I saw of how busy the bush is when human beings aren’t around sending out their negative energy, causing animals to run for safety. The little snow which remained in the forest had plenty of animal tracks on it. I saw deer, raccoon, rabbit and squirrel footprints. They are easily identified, even for a city-Indian such as I. There was an impression in the snow however, I could not figure out. An animal with feet as big in the front legs as are the ones in the back legs, made them. The tracks were about 3/4 the size of my fist with long nails protruding from each toe. I asked myself if they might be wolverine. I don’t know! I’ll ask around though and if one of the community’s trappers tells me it is one, I’ll be happy indeed. The wolverine is a creature of myth and legend. He is awesome in strength and spirit. I wouldn’t mind roaming the woods as one of them at some point in another life. If it is a wolverine, I hope he does me a favour and persuades a large squirrel colony wreaking havoc at my camp to steal away from my cabin and set up housekeeping elsewhere.
I take prayer seriously. And yeah, I’ll be putting my tobacco down so the snow will come. Not too much of it, and not at times when our good people will be placed in harm’s way on the roadways, but the right amount nature needs to make this winter a good one.
Please stay safe and be extra cautious while working and playing on the ice and snow. It’s a new year, keep in mind the power of prayer. Let’s access that power and keep our loved ones free of severe sickness and be safe this winter. Why not vow to offer up prayer for health and wellness for our family and community throughout 2015.