Jack Frost visited Red Oak House today.
Although this is a time of fallow in the yard, there is beauty everywhere, for those who pause to look. The hoary white bits coat everything and the air is still.
It makes me think of this poem, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Here are the first and last few lines.
"Frost at Midnight"
The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
Came loud--and hark, again! loud as before
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
Last night, there was a luminous crescent moon low on the southwestern horizon. On the owl nest front here at Red Oak House, there is nothing yet to report. In time, I'm confident that there will be inhabitants. The feeders bustle with winter visitors and squirrels.
Our Red Oak tree was front page news this morning in the Bismarck Tribune, and I've had so many cheerful comments about it today as I've gone here and there. I'd like to see the city put in a sidewalk there, after this news!
My research took me again today to the State Archives at the Heritage Center. The capitol grounds are just as lovely with today's frosty coating. I wrestled with microfilm and found what I was looking for, departing with a sense of satisfaction. 32 cents and some time were all it took. That, and the dedication of the good folks who work there. Many thanks.