An Essayby Rick Bass
The snow will be here any day now. One year eight inches of it fell on the sixteenth of October, and we didn’t see bare ground again until May. Another year, on the opening day of deer season—the twenty-sixth—it was twenty-six degrees below zero.
Usually it comes slowly, though, in the form of valley rain and fog and mist, the blue-sky days ebbing, and with the highest tops of the mountains receiving an inch or two of rain, rain, rain, soaking and then saturating the summer- and autumn-parched soil so that in the spring, water will be available to newly emergent plants even before all the snow has melted. Tucking the earth into bed for the long sleep, is how I think of it: taking care of everything.