Time for snow. Total expected amounts keep leaping around–at this point we’re looking at somewhere over eighteen inches. Given that we’ve had bare ground outside for most of the winter, it will be a welcome change. The day was full of little bursts of snow, but as the light has faded, a lovely dense fall of tiny snowflakes has settled in.

Earlier in the week we went for a tromp through the woods with friends and their goats. Yes, goats, like taking dogs for a walk, only…goats. Goats are awesomely full of sproing, and leap over and on top of everything. Actually, goats are just awesome, and in one of my alternate lives I live with Heidi and her flock up in the mountains.

While walking, we found a shed deer antler. Whitetail bucks shed their antlers every winter, and then regrow them in time for the fall breeding season. The one we found yesterday had five points on it (prongs–deer antlers are pronged), and was quite heavy. The thought of carrying a pair around for most of the year makes my head ache.

For the growth period, the antlers are covered in a sensitive velvety brown skin which provides the developing tissue with the necessary blood supply. Once growth is complete, the velvet sheds, exposing the hardened antlers. Mating season occurs, the bucks battle it out over the does, and then the antlers come off during the winter months.

Why am I telling you all of this, instead of surveying my canned goods and battening down the hatches? Because it interests me much more than the snow that will fall whether I think about it or not. Because I’ve been thinking about the things that we devote our time to, things that have a singular desperate importance for one part of our lives, and then fall away, no longer necessary.

If you’re in the storm today, be safe and warm. If you are not, be safe and warm as well.