Hoary Daybreak


When I went to bed last night, I knew the morning was going to be magical. I could feel it in the way the cold night air stung my nose. This morning we had our first ice. You can have many a frosty morning before first ice arrives, the morning when the surface of the puddles freeze over. The leaves which yesterday were floating on the small pond by the front entrance, are trapped in a layer of clear, cold ice this morning.

We’ve gone beyond dainty frost to the wilds of hoar frost and ice hair, phantasmagorical creations of a deep freeze. They can look like an army of flesh-cutting glass shards to soft, cuddly blankets you want to wrap around your shivering body.


The freezing nights do wonder for kale. Icy weather turns the starches in kale to sugars, making it much milder than kale picked during the summer. It becomes a mild, crunchy green, great for salads. It’s the middle of November and I’m still harvesting a bin of salad greens for Tweets every week. I wonder sometimes where the kale and other salad greens I gather each week end up. I imagine travelers stopping in at Tweets, devouring my eggs and nibbling on my greens, only to fly off that night or the next day to the far corners of the earth. By the time the kale comes out of their bottoms, it could be on the other side of the world. Bon voyage my hearty greens. Send a postcard if you can.


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