A cloudless night brought a cold still morning today. It was just above zero when I got up, blue and beautiful.

View from our hill on a sunny Sunday morning

I followed Ella up the hill, intending to capture the progress of the snows as they reach lower and lower. Each photo represented just a fragment of the panorama, and I had barely gotten started when my camera battery died.

Forced to savor the view without a viewfinder, I put my camera in its case and paused. Ella was lying beside me. I turned to the view behind me, and not thirty feet away stood an enormous caribou bull. He was approaching slowly, curious perhaps. His antlers looked to me like an elegant flourish rather than a weapon, but it did strike me that I was out-armed. Startled, I grabbed my walking stick, and the movement in turn startled him. By this time Ella was alert and heading his way. He didn’t flee, but he did turn away.  I had turned homeward, and we looked back at each other over our shoulders.

Another part of this morning's panorama

High 44, low 0 degrees, sunny and clear all day

8:24 a.m./7:02 p.m.