The sun slices through the murk to light up a strip of trees on the west shore of Pontoosuc Lake yesterday. Photos by Grier Horner/All Rights Reserved

I tell myself winter is my favorite season. I like hiking in the snowy woods and fields. I like the way the moon illuminates the snow at night. I like the bracing cold as long as I’m wearing a hooded down jacket, my warm boots, mittens pulled over my gloves and flannel-lined pants. Winter nights in the house are cozy and I sit with the added warmth of my velvet blanket. I used to bike in winter when the roads were clear. Riding up the long hill to Windsor and then fighting the wind along 8A and Route 116 to Savoy before diving down to Cheshire and Pittsfield, I’d feel like a Viking braving windchill temperatures hovering around zero to conquor new territory.

Along some of 8A was a gigantic natural basin in the heroic landscape that was being eyed as a reservoir for Pittsfield. Joan Bird, our charming Windsor correspondent, would urge me to do a story about  all this territory that would be lost to the water. But for some pigheaded reason I didn’t. Some time later she died and ever since I have regretted taking on that elementary piece of journalism. At that point, I realized later, after 15 years as a reporter I had burned out. Tom Morton, the managing editor and my mentor, saved me by making me an editor – a job I loved for the next 15 years. By the way the reservoir was never built.

Here’s a maple in my neighbor’s yard, its tender green turned to gold by the setting sun.

I’ve lost my way in this post. Let me try and get back to it. The idea was to write about the miracle of spring. It always catches me by surprise. And as it unfolds, I always marvel at the ritual of flowers and weeds poking through the leaves, coming out in the cracks of our flagstone walk, adorning the branches of the trees. My favorite time is the time of tender green. That’s when the dark green of the trees that got a head start is interrupted by the tender green of their late-blooming companions. They’re the ones that provide that wonderful contrast on the hillsides and along the streets. lighting up spaces among the trees that are darker green.

Some more shots;

    See what I mean?

Flowering trees grace this section of Route 22 north of Millerton, New York.


   A hedgerow on a ridge demands attention of Route 22.