Two acts of wind froze us still in our snowy tracks while hiking at the reserve. The first was a bluster through the pines which blew the snow that had settled on the spine of each bough down the necks of our jackets below. Goosebumps rose along my shoulder blades as the melting droplets rolled down my skin. The second was the alarming sound of clapping. I halted mid stride and scanned the forest for people. Confused, I looked to Rufus. His eyes were on an old tree swaying back and forth, drawn beyond it’s stiff wooden boundaries by the force of the gales; not clapping, but cracking. We watched and I wondered if we were far enough away, but she clung to her vertical position. One force of nature against another, a wonder to behold in the woods.


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