Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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December 20, 2009

The snow dancers have succeeded in attracting Heikki Lunta's attention: we've got about a foot of snow on the ground. Heikki Lunta is the Finnish snow god in his Upper Peninsula (Michigan) avatar. Most Alaskan malamutes are big fans of Heikki Lunta, and some of them specialize in snow dancing. Lately they have been working very hard on the U.S. East Coast.

Travvy and I went for our morning walk. My front door and the door at the foot of the inside stairs both open to the outside. Couldn't push either of them open, so first I had to exit the building through Sarah's studio downstairs, which has the only door that opens inward. Then I stomped around and up my outside stairs to the little deck, grabbed the shovel, and cleared the door and half the deck. Trav was watching me through the door, big white face like the Mal in the Moon. I decided to leave the stairs for later. Trav in his Flex lead and me in rubber and Gore-Tex from head to toe, off we went. Beautiful! Travvy was bounding and sniffing, looking at me then bounding and sniffing some more.

We didn't have much snow last winter (just ice, ice, and more ice) so this is his first big snow. With all the drifting it's hard to tell how much we had but it's about 10-12 inches in most places. About 2-3 inches from the top of my tall Mudrucker boots, and up to Travvy's elbows. Breaking trail was hard work! On one path where the clearance is usually enough for a horse if the rider ducks, the pine trees were so weighed down in some places that I had to crawl through. (Love those rain pants!) Trav startled an osprey that was settled in the snow a couple of feet from the path -- very unusual. It settled down again just out of range. Probably the snow on the upper branches was too heavy for perching. We only went as far as the tennis courts. I let Trav loose on the courts so he could zoom around, but he only had a little zoom left. Now he's sacked out on his green mat.

This afternoon's dress rehearsal for tomorrow's winter concert has been cancelled, so we're mustering a half hour earlier tomorrow, Heikki Lunta willing.

Travvy sez: Snow is fun and I can eat it, but it is also hard work! It is harder work than racing Susanna on her bicycle! (Sometimes I run fast but I let her win so she does not know how fast I can run.) It is like jumping only instead of one jump or two jumps I have to jump jump jump jump. Snow makes things smell far away. I have to dig in the snow to smell them. I almost caught a big bird. That bird looked at me and said if you try to bite me I will peck you with my beak. That bird was not a chicken! We are going to play in the snow later but now I am taking a nap.


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