Fresh AfieldMore posts

Magical Winter

Jan 26, 2010

As a small child, I was awstruck when intricate frost designs festooned my bedroom windows on cold winter mornings. In those days before double-pane windows, fleeting and unique natural artworks were part of every kid’s winter experience.

Magical Winter

The extravagant designs reminded me of the frost fairies in the Disney film "Fantasia." I imagined them skating across the windowpanes as I slept, creating exquisite artworks just for me to discover when I awoke. That was infinitely more fun than the scientific explanation of water vapor crystallizing on super-cold glass. Sometimes knowledge is a beggarly substitute for fantasy.

I suppose nothing good comes without a price. I love the snug, well-insulated home where I live today. I’m glad not to be losing millions of BTUs of expensive energy through single-pane windows. But I miss the indescribable beauty of my childhood.

I was thrilled when my son, David, sent me this photo of frost patterns he discovered on his windows recently. His house is cold and drafty, but the money he spends heating the place is not wasted. It buys him something I no longer have-–incontrovertible evidence of frost fairies.

Recent Posts

Blue-winged Teal In Flight

Testing the Waters

Sep 09, 2016

Have you ever been interested in duck hunting, but the idea of weathering the cold has kept you from taking that extra step out into the marsh?  Or perhaps you do duck hunt, but have that friend who tried it once, had leaky waders in the dead of winter, and swore he or she would never go back.  Well, it just so happens ... 

bumblebee

Busy Bees

Sep 05, 2016

Their sight and sound might bring panic at a picnic, but our need for bees is crucial.

Closeup of yellow garden spider on web

The Itsy-Bitsy Garden Spider

Aug 29, 2016

It’s a shame that little Miss Muffett was too frightened to meet the spider that sat down beside her. She would have discovered that spiders are exceptional creatures.