oak leaves trapped under thin ice bucksport maine

Winter on a Little Mountain in Maine

Fresh snow hides the secrets of the forest. Winter in Maine can get brutal, especially on a windy little mountain near the bay. On cold nights it’s so quiet here. With no neighbors and being so far off the main road there is room left for silence in the depth of winter on a little mountain in Maine.

heavy snow on fir tree bows

Having grown up in Maine, some ways north of here on our little homestead, this has always been my experience. It was not until adulthood that I have traveled enough to truly appreciate the wild, rugged land this is. It’s not for everyone. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

Footfalls of prowling bobcat and fox go unheard by tiny safely-denned creatures. With dead wind and heavy snow the only thing you can hear is the throbbing of your own heart and drawing of your own breath out in the forest at night. Scurrying voles tunnel beneath the white blanket making only whispers as they weave foolishly meandering loops.

The deeply contrasted black-and-white landscape is best seen illuminated by brilliant moonlight on a particularly cold, clear night. Thin air pays tribute to the scattered Milky Way band stretching from tree line to tree line, framed by peaks of white pine, fir and spruce tops. A stark moon shadow paints your figure jet black in the pale snow.

Sunrise adds color. The sky is pale pink and deepening to periwinkle shades of lavender at dawn. Dogwood tips gleam crimson red and deep evergreen shades adorn the conifers. Sometimes as the sun sets, bright pink clouds hang overhead, but they never last for long.

ice crystal formed on tip of grass from a freezing fog
Ice crystal forming on a tip of grass.

Tomorrow is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. The air will be still here and I feel an urge to celebrate with a bonfire by the half-frozen pond.

-Mandy Wheaton