Etchings In the Snow


Curving trail ending under bench

What an enchanting, albeit cold, day in the Laughing Labyrinth!  I am always sad looking out and seeing no fresh footprints there, so out I went, and am I glad I did!  The etchings on the snow caused by wind moving the prairie grasses and forbs created such intriguing patterns.  And the tracks of deer, turkey, mice, and a red fox added to the interest.

Each step and curve of the path was a gift of shifting colors as the sun began to set.  The “blue” snow shadows.  Brilliant white.  Creamy white. Tawny.  Russet. Tan. Mauve.

I’ll share my thoughts about each picture.  The first explains itself.  A small rodent made tracks from its tunnel to the shelter of First Bench, which I noticed needs adjusting come spring.  It’s a leaning tower of disaster!  So the little creature probably gnawed on the deer antler that “machetuneyste”, Sandi Ohlen, placed a year ago October!

DNA strand

Twisted grasses

The crossing of the grasses in this picture reminded me of a DNA strand.  And the russet of the forb in the lower right was simply beautiful contrasting against the pearly snow.

When I look closely I discern all shades of blues, whites and browns. And the pattern on the snow. How lovely! The depth as wind has pushed snow here and there make for more visual excitement.

A single line and a rotating stem

A single line and a rotating stem

Did I ever get excited about this find!  Not only do the shadows capture one’s eye, but also the deep crevice forged by the rocking of the sturdy stem  and the single line drawn in the snow by the point of the plant.  Look at the large horizontal shadows on the right and contrast to the slender vertical lines of the aster in the lower left.  Wow!  nature is cool (metaphor and literal) and fleeting.  Hmm, hope the cold is as fleeting!


one grass stalk points to a trail the other to a pattern

one grass stalk points to a trail the other to a pattern

Some creatures passed by and what appeared to be wing prints left in the snow just before this place really caught my imagination.  We did hear an owl in the fir tree last night, so….maybe some nocturnal activity caused a rodent to really beat feet. Meanwhile the grasses keep bending and twisting, carving patterns in the snow.

Overnight and sometimes in the day, a multitude of visitors

Prints in snow

footprints, turkey tracks, deer tracks and delicate fox trots!

walk through the labyrinth.  Sometimes they follow the curve of the path and other times cut through.  “There is no ‘right’ way to walk a labyrinth. All pilgrims are welcome.

So my visit to the labyrinth ended with this shot of the sun dial we inherited from Carl and Delores Franks, dear friends long departed, yet with us.  Gardeners extraordinaire.  Salt of the earth.  Generous in spite of difficult childhoods and adult lives. And, so, time moves on. Days are longer in the evenings and the cold settles in to remind us to sit and be with these days.



About marionpatterson

From the Heartland: Marion is a master educator, writer, Veriditas Trained and Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, a member of the Veriditas Council, creator and workshop promoter, and environmental educator. A Holy Fire II Usui and Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki Master Teacher, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministries Certified Practitioner (HTSM-CP), Advanced Integrated Energy Therapy practitioner she seeks to connect with others in their knowledge and spiritual quests. She leads Healing Talking Circles using the principles embraced by indigenous populations and in Restorative Justice Circles. She and her husband, Rich, co-own Winding Pathways LLC and live in Eastern Iowa. "Encouraging people to create wondrous yards." Go outside and Play!
This entry was posted in Labyrinth, Owls, plants, prairie plants, Reflections, Senses, Snow. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s