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:
(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?
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