West Tisbury Winter: From Turkeys to the Moon

Recent winters have been relatively gentle, but this winter has been rougher.

New England weather is famous for its changeability. Some recent days have been benign, others have been biting and bitter.  We’ve had seesaw temperatures. As in, you’re sitting up in the air on a seesaw and the person on the other side gets off quickly.  Your descent is sudden. The last few days have brought a solid, windy, drifty snowstorm and some of the coldest temperatures in years. This morning the thermometer at the local airport showed five below zero Fahrenheit. In Celsius that’s about minus twenty-one. Cold. The forecast for two days from now is for fifty F, or ten C. That’s a seesaw.

Let’s talk turkey.


Cold turkey.

The other night our most recent storm was coming on. The birds came, were hungry, and looked to see what might have been spilled under the bird feeder. Every winter our local turkeys gang up, and roam the neighborhood. Two days ago, our neighbor counted twenty-four individuals in her yard.


What else to call turkeys?
A mess of wild male turkeys is called a “posse”.
Turkeys may also come in broods, clutches, crops, dules, flocks, gangs, herds, mobs, raffles, musters, rafters, runs or schools.

The next day we had eight inches or more of snow.

It felt like somebody had left the door open, up there in the Arctic.

Frigid northwest air was pouring south, on the back of the northwest wind.

Late that afternoon I put on long underwear, an extra shirt, warm jacket, knit hat, and insulated boots.

Pictures time.

Bare hands on a camera were uncomfortable.

But the snow was a pretty sight, and made cold hands worthwhile.


Swamp maple leans over the brook.

Out on the street, no newspapers were in the boxes.


Ferries didn’t run, papers didn’t come.

Along the plowed edge of Music Street, driftcrests encroached.


Those who didn’t get plowed out, walked.


The word “trudge” is tailor-made for describing what it’s like to walk in eight or nine inches of fresh snow.

Snowdusted cedar branches loomed over tawny poverty grass.


The cold strengthened.

It was time to get home.

That’s what the new moon said.


The Moon, in mauve.

One response to “West Tisbury Winter: From Turkeys to the Moon

  1. Wonderful expression of your winter – I have to say I love the new moon pic. I saw the same new moon here when I was walking over to my neighbors for Happy Hour. It was just about warm enough to sit out in the covered porch without a jacket on….

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