Sundown, around 330pm this time of year, in this farmhouse is remarkable. The sun looks as if it is setting itself down on the pond that is just icing up along the banks, and as it hits the horizon it shines directly into our kitchen and den. The light that streams in matches the candle lamps that, set to a timer, turn on in all the windows just after sunset. It's a light that is golden and glowing, but lacking heat.
The wild turkeys were visiting again. They have been staying longer on these cold afternoons, scratching through the fresh snow for any morsel, and then the flapping begins and they head for the brook, by wing or foot, to roost in the pine trees as the last possible scrap of daylight abandons them.
Today the deer came. We know they are around, as we see their tracks in the paths between apple trees. Sometimes we spot one on the game camera, but it's been awhile since we checked that. Otherwise, we don't see them like we thought we might. They arrived with the sunset, moving amongst the turkeys, wary and flicking their ears at the house, sensing our presence. And we watched them. I watched them from the window, where the night before, I had placed some papier-mache deer I painted many years ago, on the window sash, a signal, perhaps, letting the deer know that we are happy to have them visit.
Olivia and I, we watched the deer as they hid themselves in the blackberry patch, until it was too dark to see them. I later dug some old apples out of the bin and tossed those outside under the bird feeders. Perhaps they'll return and we can again watch their tentative gait through our window panes.