A DESERT OF SNOW AND ICE

As arctic winds roar south over Manitou Mountain, coursing down through frozen mountainside quarries, bending low Milkweed and Monarda, their sere, dried flower-husks scraping patterns in the crystalline snow of the Woodstock Valley, deep winter comes to Waghkonk. Animals large and small, some with claws and some with paws, cast far and wide for a desperate meal, their stories told in fast-fading traces on wind-blown white, like lost memories past, as some live and some don't. Others, maybe taking a simpler path, slow down their world and wait for the green. "Got us a real, old-time Catskills winter", an old-timer might say, or even someone walking down Tinker Street, tightly holding hat t

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