Winter arrived last evening here in the Twin Cities of the Northland. In a matter of an hour or two a rather dry settling of snow covered about two inches the beautiful landscape garden surrounding my house.

Never is the beauty of these grounds superior!

I don’t look forward to winter any more, but its visual beauty when natural or artistically recreated can be breath taking. So much so, I have swept paths through these grounds every winter for the past thirty years or so. Sweeping snow from paths can be a tough job sometimes, even ‘treacherous’ as occurred on November 13, 2011 when 32″ of the heaviest, wettest snow ever to fall on my property buried anything around that might suggest paths.

Paths can still be created after a number of below zero temperatures allowing the snow to freeze hard enough to be walked upon. The garden scenery changes a bit, for each path is now from two to three or more feet higher than at any other time of the year offering a very different look at the garden’s beauty.

The snow continued to drop throughout that year’s winter. After another of these more generous snows, I trapsed through my garden estate filled with a quarter of a mile of paths somewhere in between clusters of woody plants, to enjoy the morning. These grounds abut an acre-sized pond located , of course, at the lowest level of the landscape garden. Snow tends to collect to much greater depths in these lower bits of geography.

I feel sorry for folks who do not own their own landscape garden to care for. They are even more deprived of the good life if they have never lived in a Northland with snowcover. The day after a dump, especially a drier dropping of significance, six inches or more, is almost always followed by a drop of temperature under the clearest, brightest Sun ever. With this comes the silence, noise as empty as in the Northland’s coniferous forests, here even in suburbia..

It was around early February as I now remember when I, laced with boots and otherwise properly dressed, decided to explore the ecstacy of the perfect winter morning filled with all of the sensuousness caused byan attack upon a beautiful day, and set out to make my ‘track’ through my half acre plus paradise.

Stumbling through deep snow is work……except when you are thrilled doing so! And these classic mornings after snowfall here are always thrilling to enter in a beautiful setting.

I actually do become an explorer after these larger, driftier snowfalls. Even though I know well the general location of my garden paths, heavy snow and its driftings can obliterate ones memory of the landscape very easily……let’s say in about ten seconds after one begins the snow trek.

In twenty minutes or so, I take my struggle to the lower depths of the garden somewhere where I think the pond path might be located. Yews, hemlock and arborvitaes guide my way. The path which I am seeking is about four feet above the buried iced-up water level of the pond itself.

Well, I miscalculated where the buried shoreline was by unknowingly trekking onto the pondside from the snow- buried path when my left leg broke the pond crust and dropped my body leftward into a massive snowdrift the all-night storm had created.

My right leg remained close to the pond path forcing the lower part of my then 76 year-old torso into the split position….split as far as the old legs to go…..

It all happened very comfortably. I sunk pleasantly up to my waist , legs fully split, when the event came to a halt.

I broke out laughing at what the scene could have looked like. The fresh snow kept my weight in suspension……eliminating the feel of gravity. Despite the distance between my split lower limbs, I hadn’t felt as comfortable for years.

I laughed more when I discovered I couldn’t move. I had become a form in a mold. My lower left leg couldn’t reach the pond’s ice-cover for leverage. My left arm was stuck, buried by my body, the left part of my head tipped into soft snowcover. My right leg was parallel to the snow line forcing all of my weight to the left as if lying in suspension.

The time was ten AM. Bright sun, beautiful day, probably 3 degrees above zero Fahrenheit. I was well dressed even for the cold of this unexpected occasion, but there wouldn’t be any human being within hundreds yards of me until 5 PM when my fellow suburbanite return from their labors……when it would be already too dark to see anyone half buried in our Northland snow.

These statistics quickly changed my feelings about the comfort, yet still laughable position I found myself enjoying. I panicked only every third minute of trying to free myself. Only my right arm was untethered. I also kept trying to think of something clever to plan to exit my premature and unusual burial.

Nothing clever ever arrived. Eventually, Nature dictated I dig snow palmful by palmful with my only moveable limb, which an hour later allowed me enough leverage to roll my body upward, shoreward over the soft and gentle snow and out of the predicament.

The event should have been filmed for comic relief.