Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Frosty Windy Walk

After two days of warm weather, which melted off much of the snow and brought enough rain to turn the driveways and fields to mud, January has become itself again. Zero degree nights and cold days have me humming "In the Bleak Midwinter" as I set out for today's walk.

It's about 14º out, with a wind chill of 0º. Frosty wind is indeed making moan (and flinging tiny flakes of ice against my face); earth stands hard as iron, water like a stone. Christina Rossetti never lived in Wisconsin, but she certainly knows how to describe winter.

The path to the lake is bare once more, but skimmed with icy ruts:


The lake itself, having toyed with the idea of a thaw, is frozen again...


...but the freeze/thaw cycle has buckled and lifted the ice at its edge, revealing the leaf-covered shoreline beneath.


The trail is covered with deer tracks, and edged with milkweed pods - blown empty of their floss and looking more exotic than ever:



The wind is bitter today. Each time I take off my mitten to snap a photo, my fingers freeze painfully, raising thoughts of frostbite.

A leaf shivers on its icy bed:


With no glory of foliage, the trees are yet lovely, standing upright and still in the snow...


...their trunks quietly decorated with lichen and moss.


The grey clouds break a bit to reveal blue sky and a faint hint of peach beyond:


Everywhere is the delicate tracery of twigs - perhaps the greatest beauty of winter. Some are smooth and bare...


...and others are beaded with tiny thoughts of spring to come.


Brrr, little buds. Hang on tight. It will get colder before it gets warmer.


The biting wind makes me glad to hurry home, where food and yarn are waiting. What bliss to have a hot meal, then to sit in a warm room with yarn and hook in hand and a loved one nearby. I've been crocheting hard all week, working on future magazine submissions (fingers crossed that some of them get accepted).

What have you been doing?

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37 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful but oh so cold, I'm plucking up the courage to step out into the ice and snow just so I can defrost my car and go to work. I would much rather stay home nice and snug :( have a lovely day x

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    1. Thanks, Linda! It's much nicer to stay inside on icy days, isn't it? :)

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  2. I love the avenue of trees photo. Sounds extremely cold, but very beautiful. Juliex

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    1. Thanks, Julie! It will get even colder, I'm afraid. We haven't had any true cold snaps yet - in late January or early February it can go well below zero. :)

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  3. A cold atmosphere to be sure in your part of the world! I enjoyed the soft (cold) blue of the sky and the snowy, icy scenes. Loved the seed pod!

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    1. Thank you, Sandra! I love those seed pods too (which is why they keep showing up in photos). :)

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  4. Nothing nearly as interesting as you Sue. All the best with the magazine submissions, look forward to seeing more of your wonderful patterns published.
    Beautiful photos and words.....can't imagine a Winter that cold.
    Due to a break in the high temps I decided it was a good day to clean windows, uggh!!
    Had a helper so can't complain and we rewarded ourselves with coffee and a scone in town!! Also cooking Nectarines to freeze and eat later in the year.......
    A warm room and yarn and hook what a wonderful end to your chilly walk......

    Claire x

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    1. Oh Claire, those Nectarines of yours. They keep cropping up and making me long for summer fruit. :)

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  5. You are brave, to venture out into "Bleak Midwinter."

    But beautiful photos you got.... To share with us, less brave ones.

    "Auntie"

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    1. Well, I do need to get SOME exercise after a week of sitting on my bum crocheting. :)

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  6. Your words and pictures really make me feel the cold, but I'm definitely not a winter person. It will be around 78 here today, I plan on a little light weeding and then crocheting.

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    1. That's right. Rub it in. I suppose you have flowers blooming too.... :)

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  7. Such beauty right there surrounding you. I love the beauty of winter, the shadows, the lighting and the bear limbs of the trees. Thank you for taking us along.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Thanks Meredith. Hope your weather cooled a bit! :)

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  8. I have been in the mood for yarn too. I knit a simple scarf for a Christmas gift for 2013. I am working on a shawl for myself, but the pattern is kind of complex for me so I work on it for short periods of time and then switch off. I started another Christmas gift, a pretty red cowl (knitted). Yarn and Downton Abbey. :)

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    1. Woo hoo! A great combination. We just finished watching Episode 2 on the PBS website. I KNEW Sir Anthony was going to ... do what he did. (Don't want to give it away to those who haven't seen it yet.)

      :)

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    2. I didn't see Sir Anthony's "behavior" coming at all. But I did predict the contents of the letter, so at least I'm not totally slow!

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    3. Ha! I predicted those contents too - Mr. M was astounded that I got it right. He should be used to it, poor man - I have a dreadful habit of accurately predicting plotlines and endings. Probably the outcome of reading too many detective novels. :)

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  9. Oooh I can feel that bitter wind from your description Sue, I love the photo of the shore line leaves, almost dormant waiting for signs of thawing.
    I've had a very cosy indoors kind of weekend and we woke up to our first snow this morning, so pretty but nothing like what you are experiencing. Keep cosy wrapped up in your yarn this week xox Penelope

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    1. Thanks, Penelope! I'm glad to hear you got snow instead of rain. :)

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  10. I went for a ride in the mist on Friday, the woods were gorgeous. I figured that earth would be hard as iron by Sunday, my next planned ride. So right. Knittted by the woodstove.

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    1. "Knitted by the woodstove" - what an image of cosiness is conjured up by those words! :)

      And lucky you to be able to ride in this season. :)

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  11. While visiting a new local yarn shop the other day I picked up a copy of "your" magazine : )

    I just posted my latest news, and loved viewing this post...and your winter poem and prose, Sue. Your photos are lovely as well. So encouraging to visit you and enjoy your creativity!

    Thanks for posting!!!
    xx,
    Gracie

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    1. Thanks Gracie - I saw your post and your cowl is looking lovely. :)

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  12. What a beautiful walk. Thank you. Is it not the best to return to a warm and cozy home with dinner and a loved one?
    It has been cold and dry here..not nearly what you experience. In the 20's at night, dry each day, and today the glorious sun came out, tho. He did not warm things up much. This does mean a colder night, I am sure. I just ordered some long underwear from Amazon. My jeans just don't keep me warm. I can't wait for them to get here.
    It is always lovely being here and I thank you.

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    1. Mr. M has been known to wear shorts when the temp hits the 20s and is sunny ... but only after a true cold snap of below-zero daytime temps.

      I'm glad to hear it's dry there - much easier to bear than dampness. :)

      Thanks Ellen!

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  13. You're a published designer now, so I'm sure future submissions will have agents clawing at your door! (I can dream, can't I???)

    We've had bitter cold, too, so lots of crocheting, knitting and quilting on this end, too. Good time to get things done! Although your photos make me want to brave the cold!

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    1. Ha! If only! :)

      I think our cold came from out your way. Bring on the snow for both our states is what I say!

      Hope you'll post photos of your knitting....

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  14. Winter at it's most spectrally beautiful! We were forecast snow ... would it surprise you if I told you it rained, again!

    I am quite sure you will get more patterns accepted Sue :D

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    1. Spectrally beautiful - that's the perfect phrase for it.

      Not MORE rain! Ah well - at least you won't have a drought.

      Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  15. A lovely walk as always. Me, I'd rather be in the barn munching hay, but I do get my exercise. Mostly when Ella chases me out. I guess it was much too cloudy for a shadow shot.

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    1. Yes, much. I never even saw a shadow - though there were lots of deer droppings. :)

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  16. You are so good to stop and remove your gloves to take pictures to share! Thanks for the beautiful walk.

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  17. Bbbrrrrr! I can never get over the differences in your weather, whereas here, just like Annie says, just more rain! The kids have been excited at the prospect of snow, but to be honest it is quite unlikely.

    Your pics are lovely, I especially like the tree lined path....it reminds me of a painting which I once thought I'd like to reproduce, but then realised I can't paint trees!

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    1. I hope you do get some snow - winter just doesn't seem winter without it. And yes, we get the full spectrum of weather here - but enjoy it.

      Thanks Faith! I don't know how anyone CAN paint trees. :)

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