The forest glows with its own light and becomes a secret world tucked away beneath a thick blanket of white. The dogs pace anxiously to go outside.
We make a new path through the deep snow, Murdoch leaping ahead like a fish in water. It is up to Bear’s belly in spots, but she pushes through, occasionally burying her head up to her ears after some interesting scent.
It is silent except for the shrill laughing cry of a yellow-shafted flicker passing by overhead. We look up to find it above the trees that are outlined in white against a blue sky.
We walk far in the white world, our path smoothed by the snow, filling in gaps between fallen trees and tangled branches. The dogs disappear behind screens of white where the thick snow sticks to trees and weighs down green boughs of balsam and pine.
The sun is golden, riding low in the sky, casting shadows of soft pink and cool blue. We feel the warmth of its rays reaching through gaps in the trees, long shafts of light finding their way past bare trunks of trees painted white.
The air is cool and fresh. The dogs get lost in their own worlds of smells and tracks that I can’t see. They explore this new landscape, disappear in the muffled silence and reappear somewhere else, their black shapes stark against so much white. They march away with such purpose I wonder if they will return, but then they come back, happy and panting and smelling like snow.