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photo by george billard

12.29.09 Brass Monkeys

As in, cold enough to freeze the balls off 'em. Love that British expression. Somehow a bit classier than the old witch's teat reference, still hanging on from the days of the Salem trials. My point being: it was damn cold today. We were out snow-shoeing in 13 degrees. I have a deep dread of slipping on the ice, but those metal teeth really do grip into even the slickest surfaces. Realized that the large and interesting tracks we had seen the other day and were sure were from a bear turned out to be our own. How embarrassing. Now I'm finally convinced that the bears are hibernating and so I can stop imagining Werner Herzog-worthy scenarios where one chases me into a snowdrift and mauls G who has run to my defense. Tromping on crusted snow, I could almost see the North Wind puffing out his cheeks and blowing an icy blast our way. It sent the delicate top layer of powder gusting through the air, like a frigid version of the apocalyptic ash that's always drifting down in Cormack McCarthy's brilliant The Road. (Read the book; skip the movie. Sorry, Viggo.)
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