Wednesday, January 6, 2016

First Walk of the New Year

December was horridly murky and damp. After a brief late-November freeze, temperatures became abnormally high (for the first time ever, we had parsley in the garden and still-green lawns on Christmas Day) - but the sun seemed to have already gone south for the winter, leaving us under the woolly gloom of a perpetual wet blanket of cloud.

Then, a few days after Christmas, a welcome storm blew through, bringing winter proper. With several inches of snow to brighten the landscape, life began to look more cheerful. On New Year's Eve the clouds finally broke, and on New Year's Day, I went for a walk to watch the first sunset of the year.

Tiny golden clouds were scudding across the sky, pushed on waves of light from the west:

By the time I reached the start of the trail, the southern horizon was tinged with palest pink:

And a few minutes later the sun was glowing like an ember behind a gauzy curtain of trees:

I'm so grateful to live where deciduous trees make a yearly marvel of black lace against wintry skies.

Dried wildflowers look lovely too, against a backdrop of snow and fire:

Farther on, a goldenrod as tall as myself had fallen flat across the path before me:

What a glorious treat to be out in this fresh cold air, making the first tracks on the trail of the year.

To the east, the sky was layered in rose and blue over amber prairie grasses:

 Rust-coloured stems sprang up from the snow, with cocoa-brown blossoms hard by:

Queen Anne's Lace bid a spindly goodnight to the first day of 2016:

A very good walk to start the new year.

How is 2016 going for you?

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  1. That was a very pretty walk and I thank you for sharing it with us.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Your photographs are beautiful! It has been a bit wet here in Scotland so not done much walking yet this year.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. You describe it all so beautifully Sue and the photo's are amazing I can almost smell the crisp air. We have had nothing but grey skies and rain since the end of January. :) xx

  4. I love those scudding clouds and beautiful skies. The winter atmosphere has really come your way and we're still waiting over here!

  5. Bare trees against the sky is one of my favorite parts of nature too!

  6. It's always so nice to tag-a-long with you on your journeys! :) Love the photos. Something magical about bare tree limbs reaching towards the heavens with a colorful sky in the gets me every time. ((hugs)) and now what about that sock?

  7. I think 2016 is going to be awesome. Nice walk and pics. There's always something about fresh snow that is magical.

  8. You said "scudding", one of my favorite words! Liked your footprints in the snow. It has finally cooled down here, but not too bad.

  9. Your scenery is truly beautiful and I am so pleased that you acknowledge how lucky you are to live there. Your pictures are lovely,

  10. Stunning photos, You are so very blessed . Happy new year

  11. Your photos are beautiful as always, Sue. I really felt like I was there. It must have been weird to have the weather stay so warm, almost hot, all the way through Christmas. That storm came through the southwest too, and we also got snow, but it seemed to gain steam the further east it went. The snow you got is very pretty, and it seems like you're happy to have some finally. I hope you have many more brisk and beautiful walks this winter!

  12. A wonderful walk to start the year! Your photos are stunning! xx

  13. We too had similar weather. I love seeing the sunset through the tree sticks too. Lovely photos

  14. This is a lovely post, Sue! Not only spectacular photos, but spectacular words too! May you have many more great walks in 2016!

  15. My goodness, you weren't kidding! Some spectacular sunset shots! I wish I could get off in time to see our sunsets!

  16. A lovely walk but I'm such a cold weather wimp. Have been taking many long walks here but for the past 2 months have had left leg pain that is hindering me a bit. Keep hoping it will go away on its own but eventually I'll have to go to the doctor if it doesn't resolve itself. Wishing you a healthy, happy 2016!

  17. Lovely pictures, as ever! It sounds as if you had a dreich December! I'm hoping for snow - it does brighten things up a bit.

    1. Update - started snowing about an hour later :-D.

  18. Thank you for taking us along on your beautiful walk.

  19. Oh, what a beautiful post with your great photos and words!!
    "Waves of light from the west"...that makes my heart sing!! xx

  20. Your outdoors world looks wonderful in these images. We actually have sun today but mostly it's been grey and wet and muddy. If only we could look forward to the light that snow brings, even under thick cloud, but instead I suspect there's just more winter gloom on the way. Enjoy the snow Mrs M x


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