The grass -- such as it is -- has disappeared under a new blanket of snow. Tree limbs are wrapped in white, and the back yard has become a map of the movements of small animals -- squirrels, rabbits, perhaps a dog or possum.
You can tell it's the middle of January because after the initial quiet, people bundle up and get on with life. Even though local schools are closed today and many events have been cancelled, looking out the window I see cars moving slowly down the street, a few walkers, a few kids testing to see if the snow will pack.
It's too cold to be outside too long, so no one lingers, but snow and cold no longer shock us into immobility. We indulge in brisk walks and quick outdoor chores.
It's a good day for buttermilk cake and hot soup, a warm throw and a good book -- enduring pleasures for cold days.