Evergreens dance in the wind. A high wind visits us today in the woods by the Red River.
I love the shape of the evergreens that rise up in a cone, completing their reach in a delicate top. When two or three of them appear together, they dance with one another in the high wind.
Of course, some evergreens, like the Norways, do not assume this shape and a few deciduous trees like Lombardy poplar do take on the conical shape, so I shouldn’t cite the “dancers” as all evergreens; but perhaps you will allow for these exceptions.
A white cedar sails a broad sprig down that lands on my coat sleeve. It is beautiful. In a moment the wind catches it again and whisks it away.
True to its reputation, March is the traditional season for high winds. It is the season for kites and all manner of flying things. Two wild turkeys go by me in the woods, a few yards to my left, a hen and a tom. Hmmm. Are they trying to tell me something? I do not often see a pair together that way. She is leading the duo and he is right there with her.
Usually I see a couple of toms together or a small group of hens. Is there something else this couple is telling us about the month of March?
In spite of the warming weather, a heavy bed of snow still lies upon the ground. The land is reluctant to give up its white garb. A light dusting of snow this morning suggested that winter is not quite ready to give up its claim on the land.
The wild turkeys are down on their bedding ground this morning. That is unusual, because it is covered with snow. However there may be a simple explanation. The bedding ground is a depression in the forest floor, a kind of tiny vale. Although the turkeys brave tremendously cold temperatures, they do not seem to take a hankering to high, cold winds. That bedding ground is a natural protection from those winds.
There is something about wind. Although it is great for kite-flying, and impressive to watch from behind some protection or other, wind can be menacing. It is totally invisible. It suggests no source or destination.
Wind can gently caress our cheek like a loving kiss or it can terrify us with its screaming and destruction, as it has terrified Nashville this month. It can bring warming, nourishing rains that nurture our crops, or it can erode the surface of our land and blow it as dust into the next county and destroy our food.
We always enjoyed the west winds that crashed great waves in upon the beach of Templar Point, across from Walker during our many summers there. There were times when we had to stand in our tent and hold the tent up at night while the wind howled outside, and while the children slept peacefully on their cots around it.
But all the excitement was worth it.
James Alger, who lives in Fargo, N.D., has been a summer resident of the Leech Lake area with his family for over 45 years. Over that time he has grown to love and appreciate the people and the woodlands of this area.