Sunrise over snow covered fields

Crisp, cold mornings persist this time of year in Vermont

2015-01-17 06.43.11 as the Great Lakes freeze over creating a cloudless weather pattern. Temperatures plunge, like this morning when the mercury bunches up on itself at 15 degrees below zero!

As the day dawns with an orange glow beyond the mountain range to the east, I awake to stoke the fires that have burned to embers since I last stoked them at 2:30 am. On the coldest nights of winter such as these in January, wood burns quickly, as though the wood furnace is a hungry bear.

The silent snow covered fields stretch before the emerging light, and the barns, frozen trees, and old equipment at the edge of the fields become clear in the dry, cold morning air. Soon the chickadees arrive at the bird feeder. I wonder how they can take the frigid temperatures. Then the jays, the hairy woodpecker, and finally, around 9:00 am the family of squirrels scamper across the frozen snow to begin their daily feeding frenzy.