Winter Reflections

imagesThis year our winter garden has been almost to cold to go out and visit ( – 50 is really cold). The last few weeks we have been apart of the great Polar Vortex. The winds of winter have kept us inside looking out.

Lorraine Ferra, a writer and poet, has provided us with some great ideas of what to do with our nature journal when we can’t be walking in the woods. Her book is called A Crow Doesn’t Need a Shadow: A Guide to Writing Poetry from Nature.imgres-1

She begins with teaching about weather poems. This is perfect for us since weather is all we seem to be talking about these days. Start by dating a clean page in your notebook and make a list of all the words you have thought about when looking out at the cold, crunchy snow.

  • cold
  • frozen
  • crunchy

Sometimes the weather reminds us of other things – so begin a list those things.

Things snow reminds me of:imgres

  • crystal ball shining in the sun
  • icicles look like sharp daggers hanging from the roof

Next gather a list of action words (verbs) that you might use with people or things other than snow.

  • erase
  • yawns
  • weaves  (the wind weaves the snow through the legs of table on my deck)
  • paints
  • skips

Now look out your window, and look through your list of words. What you poem can you create? Describe the winter scene outside.

Here is a poem taken from Ferra’s book.

Walking in the Winter                                                                                                                               by Keith Bateman    ( age 14 )

I love to walk in late December

in the first fury

of winters wrath

in the whirling snow.

It settles on my cold coat

and my breath turns

into white wandering winds

like a train trudging

through the mountains in the morning –

my white winter dreams…


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Winter Reflections

  1. Dana Murphy says:

    I am done with winter. Done. My list of words would not be nice ones. But that poem was lovely. Maybe I’ll try to look at the mounds of snow everywhere with fresh eyes. Maybe. 🙂


  2. This is a lovely post. Brrrr that is very cold. I love to hear about new books. This book blends two of my favorites: nature and writing. Thanks for sharing this lovely poetry.


  3. bbutler627 says:

    I’m glad that you’re here to share some nice sentiments about winter. I’m over it at this point but your photo of the icicles plus your descriptor, “icicles look like sharp daggers hanging from the roof:” is very cool. It has been the winter for that, no doubt. Great slice!


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