Though the walk to the Orchard House is short, it was that kind of chill-to-the-bone-cold that the steps twice the distance. Feet of lead, fingers nipped at these temperatures.

It was late for me to start, and while I waited for my wood stove to come to life, I looked out on that cold, grey late afternoon – off to the distant hills. Color was starting to form as the sun was aching to set. Why did I wait so late in the day? I never do. I am always so anxious to start. And then I realized there was a reason I waited that day. Those fiercely cold days do something to the colors out in those hills like no day in the summer could quite have the same meaning.

Alizarin Crimson was the only warmth in this snow.

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