Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Snowy End-of-Year Tramp

How was your Christmas? Ours was white, with plenty of snow on the ground, and another inch or two falling Friday for good measure. Today was sunny and crisp - about 20º when I left the house - perfect weather for a tramp along the snowmobile trails.

I thought the snowmobilers would be out in force, but I saw only a few. (The rest were probably indoors, worshipping at the green-and-gold altar - which is code for watching the Packers game. I'll take fresh air over football any time.)

The marshy lake-around-the-corner is snow-covered and serene, though I see an intrepid snowmobiler has crossed it recently. (Why intrepid? Not all the lakes are solidly frozen yet.)


Another view of the lake. I like the sweep of snowmobile track, and the wintry tree on the right:


A nimbus of cloud and the westering sun make a dramatic backdrop for the deserted outbuilding at the start of the trail:


Looking east:


(Someone has been throwing snowballs at the sky, and they've stuck.)

The snow is nearly up to my knees, powdery and dry on top, but stickier below. Here and there tiny grass heads stick up, braving the winter air:


A favourite tree seems to point to the left.


At the Favourite Tree my path joins that of the snowmobiles, and walking gets easier for a bit as the Arctic cats have kindly packed down the snow.

More delicate grassy seeds:


Of course I have to snap goldenrod when I see it. Look at the dried perfection of these myriad tiny blooms...


...each of them less than 1/4" across.

More goldenrod, with the sinking sun behind them:


I've left the snowmobile trail behind, and am working my way around the prairie restoration project. Floundering through deep snow, I realise that holiday-induced lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and the cold Mr. M gave me (dear man, how I love him!) have all combined to deplete my aerobic capacity. I'm getting a very good workout now.

Above me the sky is streaked and dappled and altogether lovely with cloud:


In a landscape of white and brown, a few tiny asparagus seeds still glow red:


My circuit of the field complete, it's time to turn for home. Slogging through a foot or more of snow is beginning to lose its charm.

The pond behind the high school looks romantic as always under the setting sun:


One last shot of a pine cone in the snow, like a chocolate-coloured rose among caramel thorns...


...then home to warmth and a cup of tea. My boots are full of snow, but thanks to my Christmas merino wool socks, my feet are still warm and toasty. (Thanks for the socks, B!)

The last Sunday walk of 2012, and a very good one too. How will you be spending the end of the year?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

36 comments:

  1. The pictures are lovely. We rarely get any snow here in NE FL (it has happened once or twice), and I really don't miss having to deal with the other issues of winter (icy roads and power outages), but it is nice to see the winter wonderland.

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    1. Having grown up in Southern California, which has about 1 1/2 seasons, I love the winters here (though round about late February we do get a sort of desperate longing for sunshine and brown earth). :)

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  2. Well, that was a lovely walk in the snow. Thank you!
    We had a rainy Christmas in Georgia, that's okay though, it means more beautiful clear pools on Arabia Mountain!
    I will be spending the last day of the year at work! On New Year's Eve, I hope to be sound asleep well before midnight!
    New Year's Day, my Dad will cook blackeye peas and collard greens. Do you have the same tradition, or is this only in the South?

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    1. I'm working too, today. No exciting plans for the evening either. And I'm pretty sure the blackeye peas and collard greens are a mostly Southern tradition. :)

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  3. I so love walking with you! When I go out walking I love to stop and look at the smallest flower or seed and I love (seem to be running out of descriptive words here) the way you notice things that others would pass by! The nimbus of winter sun behind the trees is so beautiful ...it's almost awesome (am I doing better). I think I'll have to look at a dictionary before walking again! I bet you enjoyed your hot drink but did deserve it! Hope you're feeling better now? Joan

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    1. Thanks Joan - the cold is gone but the cough remains.

      Isn't it terrible how few words we seem to have that appropriately describe great affection or approval? I struggle with that too - don't want to leave gushy-sounding comments but sometimes the only thing that expresses my meaning is to say that I "love" something. Ah well - we understand each other and that's the important thing. :)

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  4. Sure looks beautiful but oh so cold. I am spending a quiet day at home and will be in bed long before midnite. Hopefully tonight I will sleep -- last nite I tossed and turned and just couldn't get comfortable. Happy New Years Eve! Tammy

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    1. Thanks, Tammy, and the same to you! I hope you sleep well tonight. :)

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  5. Thank you for taking me along with you, on a trek that I'm way too old to do for myself. :-) You keep on doing these, and you'll still be doing them, when you are as 'olden' as I.
    :-)

    Happy New Year's Eve, to you, my Dear Blogging Friend!

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    1. Thanks Auntie (someday you'll have to reveal your given name, you know - though I certainly don't mind calling you "Auntie") - I hope to keep moving and riding and walking all my life, or as long as I possibly can. :)

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  6. What lovely photos and words..thank you for taking us along on your journey.
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Deborah, and the same to you! :)

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  7. Beautiful photos!!! Great way to end the year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    ♥ Ana BC

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    1. Gracias, Ana. ¡Próspero año nuevo! :)

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  8. We have just a dusting of snow. I don't think I could make the walk in deep snow, but I would like to try snowshoes. ;)
    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy 2013.

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    1. I didn't realise quite how deep it was out there ... snowshoes would be wonderful! Thanks Beth. :)

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  9. Gosh, these photographs are too beautiful Mrs. M! I want to dive in and make a snow angel right here and now :o) Thanks so much for sharing, sending you and yours well and blessed wishes for 2013 xox P

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    1. Shoot, I never thought of a snow angel! Though I was down in the stuff enough taking photos - but somehow knee prints aren't as fun as snow angels. :)

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  10. Beautiful photo's I enjoyed the walk too,have a Happy New Year :)

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    1. Thank you, Linda, and the same to you! :)

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  11. Gosh, you really do get the seasons there, to think it really wasn't long ago when you were in the sweltering heat. Our winter is very wet, windy and mild so far, which to be honest is fine by me, as our new house hasn't got central heating and a vest can only do so much!

    Lovely photos, the snow makes everything seem so pristine and new. We've been out walking today in the woods, all getting pretty muddy and dirty, but it feels good to be out and about, stretching out after the excess of Christmas!

    Happy New Year to you Mrs. M.x

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    1. Thanks Faith! It felt great to be out walking Sunday - I'd been sitting down too much in the run-up to Christmas. :)

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  12. Beautiful pictures, so gorgeous. Happy New Year Sue.
    Meredith

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    1. Thanks, Meredith! And the same to you and your dear family. :)

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  13. Oh, no! No one last shadow shot for 2012. But that's okay because I just KNOW there will be a plethora of shadow shots in 2013 because a goat simply HAS to have shadow shots. It is inspirational. Stump fodder, as it were. :)

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    1. The shadows were faint and wavery that day, and hardly photographable at all. (Photographable? Is that a word? It is now.)

      :)

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  14. What a walk..beauty everywhere. My toes are cold!

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    1. Mine stayed pretty toasty, between the wool socks and the sheepskin-lined boots.

      Thanks, Ellen! :)

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  15. Beautiful, Sue! I never tire of your pictures and words. I did wonder how you kept snow out of your boots until I read that last part. My Sunday afternoon was spent hosting a tea for women friends from our choir - very fun, but I meant to take pictures of the serving table before the event instead of part way through.

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    1. I try to keep the snow out, but my snowpants aren't set up properly for that. But all that wool keeps the feet warm regardless - it's pretty amazing stuff. :)

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  16. I must confess, when I read "green and gold altar," I immediately thought Christmas tree with gold ornaments.

    Guess ya gotta live up North for that one...

    I love your description of the snowball clouds and chocolate pine cone. The low-angle sun shots are great, too.

    I had PT on Christmas Eve. How's that for a different way to spend it?!? Then I practiced on Christmas when I wasn't in the kitchen with our first-ever-as-a-married-couple turkey with homemade stuffing. (Homemade bread crumbs and fresh home-grown rosemary, sage and thyme!) (and store-bought fresh mushrooms, green onions and celery) Best. Turkey. Ever.

    We had a white Christmas, too, but only a couple of inches.

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    1. Wow, your stuffing sounds amazing - and I don't even like stuffing! But I do love rosemary and thyme - I keep a pot of each going all winter long. :)

      Hope the PT continues well. I wish you more and deeper snow!

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  17. Beautiful pictures, Sue! What a beautiful way to end the year..

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  18. Beautiful pictures! Until now there has been no snow overhere so it doesn't feel like a real winter.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting! We're heading into a bit of a warm spell, so I hope the snow doesn't all melt away. :)

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