The Winter Woods
By T. Morris Longstreth
The Catskills are a happy meeting-ground of north and south. In
spring they are not too far north to attract and harbor tropic birds,
or to nourish flowers that must have warmth. In winter they are not
too far south to know the arctic visitants and the dry cold of the
perfect season. The Catskills give you the open hard-wood forest, and
yet surprise you with an aromatic mountain-top of balsam or a ravine
of aged hemlock. The Catskills protect animals that you might fancy a
trip to Hudson's Bay would scarcely reveal. I have been told that
even the pine marten is still caught there yearly. In fact, the
Catskills, one hundred miles from New York City, can satisfy more
outdoor aspirations than the ordinary aspirer can aspire to. It takes
a very complete nature-lover to cover the Catskills and wish for
more. Go to the Catskills and go crazy -- that is, if you are at all
susceptible to the crowding interests of nature at her wealthiest.
And if you have never gone in winter, go then.
Without winter our race would never have acquired thrift or the
strong fiber of reliance which that season, throwing a man back upon
his slender resources, gives. Winter in the northern woods inculcates
thrift and stanchness of relation. There can be no hit-or-miss about
life where the next day may snow you up for the winter. There can be
no extravagances with one's store of resources, either material or
spiritual, when one is at bay before abysmal cold and the outer
darkness of long nights.
On the other hand, if the year is stripped for the great fight, and
if the lighter friends have blown to sunnier lands, there is
recompense awaiting you. The skies were never more beautiful, the few
birds never cheerier, and the circle round the hearth has time now to
know you and be known.
It is the winter birds that appreciate the slender store of life.
There are three who will be good company for you on a snowshoe walk.
The nuthatches are a busy crowd. Head down and sometimes clinging to
the under side of limbs, they ransack poplars and spruces. They have
a squeaky little cry, and are too much engaged to pay you attention,
and so you can keep along with them. Have an eye out for the
red-breasted nuthatch. He is rarer than the white-breasted. With them
the little downy woodpecker will be seen, trying bard, poor chap, to
keep the pace, and consequently losing in thoroughness. He can't do
half a tree to the nuthatch's one, but he doesn't let it worry him.
The spot of flame at the back of his head gives just the spark of
fancy needed in the somber forest. Occasionally one may see the rarer
hairy woodpecker, a bigger cousin and rather taciturn.
The chickadee completes the usual trio, and I like him best of all.
He is known by his black cap. He is never well groomed, like the
snowbird, and looks as if he bad just been roughing life in his back
woods; but be has a warmer heart than the snow-bird, and is found in
just the places where you need somebody like him for companionship.
Go up Slide or Windham or Hunter on one of those brilliant winter
days when there is nothing around but the universe, and you will be
thankful for the honest little chickadee.
The crow will not be friends with me. Indeed, I cannot say that I
know a single crow intimately. There are lots of other birds that one
doesn't expect to be familiar with. A warbler is, at best, a
foreigner with a letter of introduction. A buzzard is of a class that
one does not receive. A hawk is a free-booter. An eagle is His
Majesty, before whom you should not presume to more than bow. But the
crow is my neighbor, and I rather resent his aloofness. I like his
voice on October evenings, and I like the glitter of his wings in
March. But his nonchalant way of flying slowly off when I come over
the hill is the cut direct. He has a sense of humor, or is dumber
than I thought. The other day I saw him chase his own shadow as a cat
its tail. He was flying over a sloping meadow of bronzed grasses.
Three times he swooped, and each time his shadow joined him as he
struck the grass. Whether it was his shadow that he was after, or
merely a mouse, I can't say. But why three times?
Then, there are two friends of winter that I call my wood-pile birds.
The blue-jay always comes around to see what is doing when I get out
the ax. He is very curious, but will never quite admit it. He skulks
around, and works up considerable indignation if there is no notice
taken. But, for all his apparent temper and harsh scolding, he is
enjoying it. He likes to be about and to be admired, and, as he is a
fine sight between logs, we are both suited. When the cardinal comes
round, I am content. The cardinal is something to give thanks for. In
spring, when his song attains a haunting richness of tone, he is as
perf ect as a courtier can be. The song is but a sweet whistle, a prelude-to
what? Ah! that is his secret -- and yours. He starts the melody. You
are a poor lover if your heart cannot go on with it.
All bird songs are like that. They all start something that they will
not finish. The purple finch, warbling so exquisitely from. the
new-green poplars, even the hermit-thrush beginning his divine
arpeggios in the shadowy valley, cannot satisfy the rapture they
inspire. It takes all of spring to round out the orb of the
meadow-lark's first song. So blame not the cardinal if he but set the key.
The junco, whose snow-white tail feathers cheer you like a chance
"hello", is the chummiest of all the winter friends. But he
doesn't tell you much. Just a chip, chip and a flirt of the tail. He
is always trig, always trusting, and often the only scrap of life
left in a snow-drowned world.
Sometimes a cedar-waxwing , the aristocrat beside whom the cardinal
is a dowdy, sits on a bush and watches me work in my flannel shirt. I
know that I am quite out of place in his society. He often whispers
to his mate about me. But none of it ever reaches my ears. They are
the quietest of birds. Exquisitely groomed and crested, the two will
sit on a juniper bush and eat the berries, but genteelly and without
haste, as though eating were beneath them. Never have I seen a
waxwing disheveled, crowded, angry, or in danger. They are above
enemies, one would infer from their manner. If they die at the hands
of owls, I doubt not that they feel contempt to the end for their
vulgar foe. They allow you to approach with ease near enough to see
the yellow band across the tail and the wax tips of their wingquills.
There are a number of other winter birds in the Catskills-the tufted
titmouse and the winter wren and the golden-crowned kinglet and the
hawks and owls, shrikes, pine siskins, redpolls, crossbills,
buntings, wandering sparrows, -- the eagle, who, soaring, seems to
cover a county in each circle, -- there are lots of birds that these
winter woods, which seem so barren of all life, disclose.
Also, there are a great many animals-how many nobody can ever guess
with a very near approach to accuracy. Varying in numbers, changing
their range, sometimes hibernating, sometimes hiding with their
young, a walker cannot even presuppose what he is to see. That gives
a spice to rambles, and strings unexpected pleasures upon a day's
jaunt as close as swallows on a wire.
Winter is the time to find friends among the animals. In spring they
are busy with their children, and in autumn with their mates. In
summer food is plenty, and they lie snug. In winter they must be
abroad, all except the seven sleepers and the few who can live on
their stores; and to be abroad in winter means to leave one's tale
The Catskill forest is a capacious storehouse of beechnuts and
forage, and the meadows are alive with mice. This combination enables
a veritable menagerie to live easily and in unexpected numbers. Take
your snowshoes and wander back into the Peekamose country, or tramp
and camp in the wild tangles of the upper Bushkill, and you will hear
and read in the snow more woodland gossip than you'd have dared suspect.
The impression one gets from the snow is that the forest is a
parade-ground. Between storms the squirrels have time to visit every
tree, the deer to do intricate patterns by the mile, the foxes to
trot to all the interesting places, and the snowshoe rabbits to fill
in the intervening spaces with hop, skip, and jump. Yet how many do
you see in a day's walk? One squirrel, no deer, no fox, no rabbit.
But take heart. That's the first day. On the second your eyes are
wider open. In a week -- well, I shall not prophesy, for a good deal
depends on whether you last out a week. But there are at least twenty
animals that you may have seen.
In the Catskills the squirrel crowd is well represented, and, for a
beginning, pays as well to follow up as any. In fact, to watch any
animal is to become interested. The one watched becomes the most
interesting in the world. A red squirrel at hand outweighs a
rhinoceros somewhere else.
Along the road that I had to travel frequently there lived three red
squirrel families in the space of a mile. It was a sort of squirrel
parkway. Several times a day the little fellow who sits in the shadow
of his tail would scamper by me, always using the same aerial route.
It was a strange route, as jagged as the sky-line of the Rockies --
up a big locust, down, by a cedar, and jump. In some lights the sun
shone warm on his back, which was the color of Barbarossa's beard.
His home was in a woodpecker's hole-a lately ousted woodpecker, if
the feathers meant anything. How the youngsters are trained to all
the leaps and dashings that every young squirrel should know is a
marvel I have not yet seen through. It is worth a summer to follow
their fortunes from start to finish.
The finish comes not by broken leg so often as by weasel or by hawk.
A red squirrel lives for five or six years, and there are only four
reasons why he can escape without a fracture for every bone in his
body: the length of his fur, his tail, his spread of limb, which
makes for an almost spiritual lightness, and his agility, which is
worthy of an Ariel.
There is some fun observing the red squirrel, because he never roams
far, does not hibernate, is always into something, and will parley
with you -- at least, while the food lasts. He is about a foot long,
half of it tail., He stores his food. He does not migrate. The family
comes in May. His food consists of seeds, nuts, berries, and birds I
eggs. He lives in f ear of hawks and owls, but you'd never know it.
Many men in the Catskills told me that the gray squirrel was
plentiful, but I saw very few. It is common knowledge that the red
squirrel, who despises and bullies the gray, always wins in disputes
for territory. I found the reds everywhere, and am quite ready to
draw the private conclusion that the lumbering, improvident, and
cowardly gray is already fairly scarce, and becoming scarcer.
The chipmunk flourishes, and for those of us who do not demand wolves
and mountain lions to whet our appetites little Tam will furnish
amusement. There is sure to be a stone-pile, a woody ledge, a
labyrinth of brambles near your house, and almost as sure to be a
chipmunk there. Every clear day I sat at work, backed up to a pine,
with needles for cushions and chipmunks for company. The vestibule to
the chipmunkery was under a fallen spruce, and a dozen times an hour
the elder chip would come out of his hole, survey the scene, scamper
along the logs or over my legs, and fall to storing tree-seeds in his cheek-pouches.
In the course of the entire summer never once did he neglect to look
over the scene before leaving his hole, never once bounce right out
and trust to luck that I wouldn't eat him. That particular family
must have lived very well the next spring, when the hunger-hour
struck. Among other things, they had stored about a pound of
chocolate caramels, which I didn't intend them to have. I wonder if
the youngsters were given one if they were good?
A chipmunk is about six inches long, with three more for tail, and is
known by his stripes. He is not supposed to climb, but those caramels
were on a six-foot shelf, reached via a higher roof, a ledge, and a
window. Did the ground hackee smell them? Was he on a general
exploring expedition? Does he usually explore so high? And how did
lie make the shelf ? I would like to have stayed through the fall.
When did Dad Hackee go to sleep? For how long? Did he help with the
Curiosity may kill the cat, but it creates the other beasts for us.
Of course, ground hackees are small deer for ponderous intellects.
Yet Burns was not above writing about a louse, and who will set
himself above Burns? If you will lay aside your newspaper, sir, or
your knitting, madam, and make the acquaintance of Tamias Striatus,
if you will put some intimate questions to him, you will find that
you know almost nothing about this animal within your gates. He will
be as remunerative of interest as a fond gazelle. Keep a journal for
Tammy, a camera set, some food at hand. It need not necessarily be
Perhaps I exaggerate, but some days it seemed to me that there must
be a woodchuck for every native of the Catskills. They were not only
bobbing in and out of their holes in the fields; they were also
continually dodging back into roadside weeds, turning on wood trails
and sneaking off, or coughing at me from behind rocks. The farmers,
whose fields they are forever turning into animated subways, hate
them. They are shot, trapped, poisoned, and probably ferreted. They
flourish. Other animals, as Thompson Seton says, all die before their
time. But the woodchuck sees his out, living in clover in the summer
and in his own-steam-heated apartment in the winter, fat, idle, lazy,
aldermanic, a fit survivor of Diedrich Knickerbocker's race.
There are some questions I would have you discover the answers to,
since I can find no facts and cannot bring my wits to conjure fit
reasons for. How does this beast, who never exercises, remain so
surprisingly agile that he can turn his two feet of puddin'-bag flesh
in his hole fifteen times a quarter of an hour? How does he survive
the fox, who is as a town lawyer to this country priest? How does he
maintain himself in the midst of a circumambient hate? How does he
get enough liquid from the dew (for he does not drink water) to
placate the demands of his physiology, particularly since his idea of
a saturnalia is to lie out by the day in the torrid sun?
After watching a woodchuck through an operaglass for an hour or so,
stowing clover, one gets new standards of gluttony. In the fall he
eats by the day. Clearly the future of man is not along the
alimentary canal. We have come that way. Everything that can be
accomplished by eating has been tried by the ostrich, the bear, and
the woodchuck. He is the vegetarian's best example. He is also the
original sun-worshiper. The Old Man of the Pasture preaches to
over-busy people in terms of success. He continues to inherit the
earth. His mood is perpetual patience, his song a monody of ecstatic
sloth. If you wish for perfect content, you must pray to be a woodchuck.
It was not quite characteristic that I should have come on my fox in
the way in which I did -- rounding a corner of the wood path and
finding him playing with a broken weed. He was a bit astonished, and
yet disdained to appear excited, trotting down the trail several
yards before jumping into the bushes. Yet I cannot believe that I
surprised him. One does not surprise foxes.
Foxes must eat, in winter particularly, and, as they are not
supernaturally borne over snow, they must leave a track, a single
line of little pads. It is not only possible to read the continued
story; it is quite possible to have a hand in it yourself. I know a
family of five brothers, long-winded and long-legged, who, after
familiarizing themselves with Reynard's usual run, set out to trail
him down in relays. As twenty-five miles is a fair run for a fox, and
as they are good for forty, they sometimes get the red ones. The gray
take too soon to cover. For any set of athletes it is a magnificent
game, in which every minute pays its share of the pleasure.
Both gray and red foxes are found in the Catskills. The grays seem to
be driving out the reds, and are destroying the ruffled grouse. I
have never seen the young of the gray, but the sight of the tawny
cubs of the red playing together is a sight that a man will never
forget. The spotted faun, surprised in the deep wood, and leaping
away into almost instant invisibility, is possibly the supreme vision
of the wild-wood. But baby foxes, with their soft fur running through
every change of gold and yellow-brown, white-throated and big-headed,
are more playful than Puck's children, and an entrancing sight.
The fox loves the border-lands best. He lives on meadow-mice and his
neighbor's fowls, or rather on those of his neighbor but one. He is
said to spare the nearest farm for strategy's sake. I don't know how
true this is.
Also the cottontail is most content when near civilization. She sits
in her own form by day, but in some one else's garden by night, and
is ready to incur the ranging do- rather than have to travel too far
for her cabbage.
On the contrary. her cousin, the varying hare,the white rabbit of the
vernacular, but the snowshoe rabbit of the naturalist, -- prefers the
willow swamp and the copsy highlands of serener woods. Certainly
there is no more interesting place in which to have a Catskill cabin
than up one of those valleys such as Big Injin or the Beaverkill,
where, just within the fringe of hemlocks, one gets the best of both
environments. At one's back door lies the shadowy hinterland of
forest and invisible beasts; at one's front the open hill and dale,
peopled with a more metropolitan menagerie. Either where live
multitudes, unseen and unsuspected. But, if you choose well, you can
share the fortunes of those who fancy darkness as well as of those
who love the light.
The snowshoe rabbit is recognized by his very long ears, his hind
legs that crook up in the back because they are so long, his rusty
brown of summer and his pure white coat in winter, and -- most
interesting of all -- his moult in the autumn and spring. In the
autumn the change to white begins with his feet, the patches widening
upward f rom the legs and back from the ears. In the spring the order
Brute and I found evidences of these hares on every snowy summit that
we mounted. They had scampered across wide open spaces, though loving
the thickets most. Their broad pads lifted them fairly well in the
light snow, and very well when it had hardened a little. The few we
watched did not seem to be very hungry, although the vernal appetite
is much the keenest. Six-foot leaps on the mountain-tops were not
unusual, but the ones we seared did not seem in any hurry to leave.
Whether they play in the moonlight, as some naturalists announce, we
could not tell. Certainly none came to act before us that night on
Huntersfield. But, from the maze of tracks on Slide, I should judge
that they held regular nightly hops, moon or no moon.
A great deal could be done with a note-book on Slide. The largest
leaps could be measured, the shrubs examined to discover their
larders, the earliest appearance after the big snows determined,
their places of concealment during snows found, the normal range
estimated, and the years of frequency counted. When all this data had
been collected, it could be compared with Ernest Thompson Seton's
authoritative work in "Life Histories of Northern Mammals,"
the most fascinating narrative of animal existence that I have had
the luck to fall upon. Mr. Seton is popularly supposed to fashion the
straight line of veracity into an artistic halo for his animals; but
in this thousand-page master-work every authority is cited, every
rumor credited as such. To be sure, there is the glamour of
personality throughout the two volumes, the adjective that brings a
smile, the fancy that enhances the fact. The facts, however, are
there, quite undiluted with fancy. The result is that people who
would turn away from museum reports turn to these biographies, and
when the book is closed return to the woods and fields with a
tremendous appetite aroused.
There is sure to be a porcupine living within a mile of your Catskill
cottage. Some night he will smell salt, a smell more alluring to him
than blood to a hungry tiger. If you give him time, he will gnaw down
the house about your cars for that grain of salt. He will not,
however, shoot his quills at you. Nor can he escape you running: So
chase him up a tree, tie a white towel about it, and let him wait
till morning. If it be a hemlock, he will begin on his next meal
right away. He is an irritable beast, and as unsociable as a
woodchuck. Porcupines chatter in a shrill, teeth-gritting way when
they are disturbed. Do not appeal to their reason. They have none.
Yet do not trust their quiescence. That tail will slap like a
camera-shutter, leaving you with the appearance and feeling of a
pin-cushion. The quills have to be cut out, being barbed, and are the
quintessence of schrecklichkeit in a brutish world. Whatever
becomes of the porcupine in winter, he neither sleeps nor obtrudes
his society. I do not know his trail. Occasionally a dog finds him,
and sometimes a flesh-eater, crazed with hunger, tries the untriable
and gets crazed with something else. Probably he stays up in his
thick hemlock until it is stripped, only to make the short trip to another.
While I was in Roxbury they were having a crusade against skunks.
Skunks are fond of chicken in any form, and these, recently emerged
from their long denning up, were bent on having some eggs at any
price. It was an unfortunate bargain for them.
A skunk is guessed by his stripe and taken for granted by his tail.
The sensible man trusts to his senses. Yet, according to all
authorities, the skunk is not easily irritated to action, and even
when he feels his temper rising he gives ample warning to the
neighbors by delicately turning his back and raising his tail. If the
tail should spread and the tip rise, then let the beholder exert
himself and flee. Ten feet is scarcely a safe distance, and the smell
is strong for miles.
Skunks seem to know that security is their due. They are as likely to
nest beneath a back porch as to seek seclusion in the edge of wood or
swamp. Study of the skunk vouchsafes all the excitement of a lion
hunt. Yet the results are not so permanent. Just bury the clothes in
In hollow Catskill beeches breeds the coon. You can't mistake the
little bear with his big ringed tail and black cheek patches. There
is enough fish and enough green corn in the Catskill country to make
his summers bright, and he sleeps through the worst of winter, so his
five-toed track is not the one you're thinking of.
Neither is it in the pine marten's, who lives in the trees, who
prefers the heaviest of fir forests to the open woods, and who will
have nothing of the border-lands. He is a big weasel with a big spot
of yellow on his brown throat.
Neither is it the otter's, for all unite in saying that the otter is
no longer found in the Catskills.
Neither is it the fisher's who never lived there in any number, at least.
Nor the wolverine's, who plagues Canadian but not Catskill trappers.
Nor the beaver's, who has been liberated on some of the western
Catskill streams, but is not yet thoroughly established.
But it is the mink's, who wanders by the ponds here and there in the
western Catskills and along some of the wilder streams. He can be
seen gliding or sometimes swimming, but never still. He is a black
beauty, more graceful than the grayish 'chuck, and less ratty than
the muskrat, without the stripe and flaring tail of the skunk, and
easily distinguishable from the opossum with his rat tail, or the
coon with its prisoner pattern.
There are fairies, too, as reward for the diligent searcher. Tucked
away in the recesses of the Catskill glens live the flying squirrels,
and the weasel who turns white in winter, the big hoary bat, and a
host of shrews. The little brown bat comes down to the villages; and
where you pitch your tent you will entertain the most beautiful
animal in the world, the jumping mouse, with his exquisite white feet
and plumy tail. There are other mice, and a mole or two, and along
the snow the muskrat drags his tail behind him, as meek as Mary's
lamb -- unless disturbed.
There used to be forty-five kinds of mammals in the Catskills. Gone
forever are the gray wolf, the elk, the panther, the Canada lynx, and
the otter. The forty others are still there. Deer are plentiful, bear
common, and wild-cats are killed each winter, sometimes a dozen,
sometimes but half a dozen in the three counties, if one may estimate
The wild-cat is undoubtedly the most interesting animal left. In
early summer, if you listen, you will hear the shivery bark of the
barred owl, which is sufficiently awing; but far away (yet not too
far for creepiness) you may hear the rasping caterwauling of two
cats. The Canada lynx in seats upon deep woods, but the wild-cat --
which is the bay lynx and differs only from the Canadian in size and
ability -- will range close to farms, hide in wood-lots, and
supplement his dietary of chipmunks, rabbits, and grouse, with poultry.
It is a perfectly safe winter sport to trail the wild-cat, if you
can. There is no record yet of any Catskill denizen having attacked a
man, or a woman either, for that matter. The bear sees you first and
takes to the next county. The deer, which is the most treacherous of
all animals in captivity, will spare no pains to eliminate herself
from your presence. The wild-cat is so beautifully agile in matted
branches and along fallen trees that he invisibly escapes the
silence-smashing man who is crashing toward him on two awkward legs.
Indeed, the only animal to be feared in the woods is the porcupine,
who, by chance, may come up and lick your hand in the dark. The
muskrat has been known to attack in numbers, and in the dim of dusk
mosquitos have been heard; but the wide-wood, for all of them, is
freer of danger than one city street.
It is easy to take the little animals for granted. The difficulty is
in believing in bears. When we came upon 'Gene Kerr working in his
garden, his rifle leaning against the house and a row of bear skulls
grinning along the side of the barn, we had to believe. Later, when
we had shredded our clothes in brier patches, roamed over thousands
of square miles of blueberry desert (or so it seemed in the sun), and
spent the night in the deep darkness of the Catskill forest, we began
to doubt. And after we had poked in perfect dens and descended into
marvelous bear havens, we began to resent the stupidity of bears in
not making use of the facilities offered.
A bear is difficult to see. Since he doesn't hee-haw, or bark, or
sing in one's ear, he has no way of drawing your attention. Also,
being very shy, he will not stay in a place until you run into him.
His notion of life in the spring is to beget and then get. In the
fall his daily round is designed to make him daily rounder. And in
the winter he sleeps it off. In January, in order to give birth to
her young, the mother has to wake. This makes her crosser than a bear
naturally is. It does seem unjust. She maintains her ill humor by not
eating or drinking for several months, being still damned up. All
this time her two cubs are developing from squirrel-size infants into
creatures dog-like, then boy-like, then bear-like, until they are
able to wander around the woods and begin to feed on adult provender,
which is nearly everything swallowable from bugs and berries up to
beetles and small deer.
Owing to the excessive timidity of bears, Brute and I have had to
take all the above information from trappers and talkers of their
ilk. I have seen their hides, their skulls, their slayers, and their
photographs; and, putting two and two together, I am prepared to
assert that there are a good many yet in the Catskill country. That
they have no inhumane intention toward human beings I can even more
confidently assert. I have given them every chance.
The deer, in comparison with the bears, behave in a way that is
positively forward. Instead of running deftly away like a
three-hundred-pound bear, they will break twigs, stamp, turn, and
snort from behind bushes. It isn't sensible, but it gives one
beautiful glimpses of tawny grace, of matchless poise, which are
fixed in the imagination forever. It is far harder to get a good view
of a deer in the Catskills than in the Adirondacks. They are
relatively fewer, shyer, and less accessible. In the Catskills there
are so few open ponds and so few marshy meadows that one must wait
long, walk far, or be in the uplands much to get one's fill of their
white-tailed vanishings. Patience will be rewarded, however, as
always, and in the snow can be read the long story of their existence.
I have spoken of the winter woods as if their branches were thick
with birds and their shrubbery trodden down by a crowding mass of
animals. That comes from letting the results of many wanderings
jostle each other in the corral of the printed page. To the hurried
visitor the Catskills will seem birdless and creatureless. It is for
him who roams the woods alone and without regard to time-pieces --
this revelation of almost spirit-like life that lives in the shadows.
The woods, however, are there. They cannot slink back into hidden
dens. They are the lifeground of innumerable activities, the great
theater of all outdoors, and the most beautiful theater imaginable.
Even if you care nothing for the fascinating skunk and have never
heard of the relentless ermine, you cannot remain obdurate to the
charm of the stage on which they live out their little roles as
comedian and villain. If you once wander back into the winding aisles
where the hemlock droops with snow and the brook has built itself
music-rooms of marble, you will never shake yourself quite free of
the spell. You will always see something more than dark trunks and
the vistas of white. You will feel the imminence of something
wonderful to happen. Somehow, a new blessing falls upon you. Life
falls into proportion. The delight of going on no longer intrudes
upon the pleasure of staying still. And so, in the winter woods, you
find a novel peace.