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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