Wednesday, December 4, 2013

*Tromping through the Snow

"Red in the morning; sailors take warning..."  I wonder how many times in my life I've repeated that little phrase to myself.  I LOVE red mornings.  Of course, I'm not a sailor.  I may swear like one when provoked by a startling moment, but this salty dog lives too far from the sea to suit my sailor's heart.

It was with great joy I watched the storm clouds roll in yesterday.  The first few flakes fluttered past my window, and I kept thinking, "Come on, you can do better than that!"  When I went to bed, the snow was still falling.  When I woke up in the middle of the night, the snow was still falling. "That's more like it," I told the snow.  And this morning, when I woke up, the snow had settled in fat, fluffy drifts on the deck, and the only snow that swirled was swept up by the wind and settled back to the ground.

I couldn't wait to dig out my winter wear, and get outside.  The best part of this day, after it being a snow day?  My ski pants FIT!!!  This time of year arrives with a little trepidation on my part since the Year of the Too Tight Ski Pants.  Not only could I zip them up, they felt great!  Ski parka, ski socks, snow boots.  I was ready!  No makeup, no fussing with hair, I just pulled on my ear warmers and let the frigid temps take care of the blush.

Marley seemed so excited about the prospect of going outdoors with me.  I didn't even bother to leash him, assuming he would stay close to me.  We tromped through the snow.  Nothing makes me feel like a kid like tromping.  Avoiding the trail through our woods, we tromped along the paths made by the deer, stepping over logs and pushing through the brush.  

That little Boston took off like a shot when we startled the deer. He darted off to follow them, and all I could see was a little black blur speeding through the brush.  
The breeze had died down, and the sun was rising above the ridge.  When Marley finally stopped chasing, I could see he was uncomfortable.  He wouldn't come toward me at the creek when I called, and just stood there, shifting his weight from paw to paw.  I knew I would have to return him to the house before I could take more pictures. When I finally caught up to him at the house, he was prancing nervously in front of the door.

Poor thing.  Extremes in temperature are his least favorite thing.  Too hot or too cold, and he's all about going home.  

I headed back to the woods, breathing in the wintry air. My face was cold, but my body was generating enough heat from exertion inside my ski gear.  It was perfect. As I was walking back toward the creek, I heard a commotion, and too late, saw our friend the owl swoop down out of an old juniper tree.  By the time I focused my camera lens, he had flown out of sight. I just love that big, old bird. The smile on my face wouldn't be leaving any time soon.

My gifts from winter this day included not only encountering our owl, but watching a herd of deer gracefully bound over our neighbor's fence; noticing the fairy dust on glistening snow drifts; breathing clean, fresh air, and capturing the snow in the clutches of autumn leaves.

Snow in the clutches of autumn.

Our neighbor's cabin looks like a post card.

Ready to head back out later.

Marley has almost forgiven me for dragging him out for my tromping expedition.

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