Into the Winter Wood: Addison County at its Finest

Sunrise today presented Addison County at its finest: hoar frost and clear skies. Wikipedia says “Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water.” In the bright November sun, a rarity in Vermont, I say it’s breathtaking.

While many of the Vermont residential properties I represent feature open meadows (like this Chittenden property on Dam Road) and lakefront (like this historic home in Bridport), the frosty air made me think of the woods and wood stoves. These Vermont homes with sugar houses aren’t all in Addison County, but they do offer terrific Vermont mixed terrain, acreage and maple stands. Some might think it blasphemous, but sugar maples are a good source for heat, a fact that becomes more and more important with the approach of winter weather.

This winter poem by Vermont poet David Budbill, “Into the Winter Woods” might get you into the mood:

Into the Winter Woods

Long-johns top and bottom, heavy socks, flannel shirt, overalls,
steel-toed work boots, sweater, canvas coat, toque, mittens: on.

Out past grape arbor and garden shed, into the woods.
Sun just coming through the trees. There really is such a thing

as Homer’s rosy-fingered dawn. And here it is, this morning.
Down hill, across brook, up hill, and into the stand of white pine

and red maple where I’m cutting firewood. Open up workbox,
take out chain saw, gas, bar oil, kneel down, gas up saw, add

bar oil to the reservoir, stand up, mittens off, strap on and buckle
chaps from waist to toe, hard hat helmet: on. Ear protectors: down,

face screen: down, push in compression release, pull out choke,
pull on starter cord, once, twice, go. Stall. Pull out choke, pull on

starter cord, once, twice, go. Push in choke. Mittens: back on.
Cloud of two-cycle exhaust smoke wafting into the morning air

and I, looking like a medieval Japanese warrior, wade through
blue smoke, knee-deep snow, revving the chain saw as I go,

headed for that doomed, unknowing maple tree.

“Into the Winter Woods” by David Budbill, from Happy Life. © Copper Canyon Press, 2011. (Vermont poetry makes a great holiday gift, by the way).


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