I can officially call it winter now that it’s the 22nd. It feels like just a few weeks ago that I had sweat dripping off my face from working outside. Now, sweat is just a distant memory.
When I woke up this morning, I noticed a blue sky peeking through the little half circle window above the closed shades in the bedroom. I was pretty happy because every time it’s sunny during these “dark” months, you pretty much have to take advantage of it. Being trapped inside a house during a very snowy weekend can get on your nerves. Not that it isn’t beautiful outside, it’s just that seeing the same walls over and over again can take its toll.
I decided that today would be a great day to take Holly down into the woods to go for a walk. Since Holly is a Nordic dog, I figured that she would jump at the chance to bounce around in the deep snow. The plan was to hike down the hill behind the house, cross the walking trail, climb over the rock wall and continue down to the river. Maybe Holly could get a quick drink while we were there and then we would figure out a way to get back up that steep, snowy hill. That was the plan.
I went downstairs to get Holly, who was asleep on the warm basement floor. I said, “C’mon Holly…c’mon,” while slapping my hand against my leg. She kind of just lifted her head to look at me. Then, I started jumping around so she would get the message. Holly isn’t the best listener, so it takes a bit of theatrics to get her to do anything. Finally, she got up and followed me up the basement stairs and out the garage door, where I clipped her to her leash. I think she was starting to wake up, because she had a little pep in her step once we hit the driveway pavement.
To get Holly warmed up for the snow hike, I walked her up the driveway to the mailbox and back down to the edge of the woods. Once we were all set to enter the woods, I gave her a tug and jumped in myself. She followed me, but once her paws hit the snow and her body sank about a foot into it, she looked a bit discouraged. She glanced up at me with those, “No way, man” eyes. I wasn’t having that, so I started to tug on her leash a little more. We got about 50 feet into the woods and she stopped. She just stopped. Her head kept on leading back to the driveway. I stood there in utter disappointment. What had this dog turned into? Oh well, today is her birthday and she did just turn 14. I’ll give her a break.
We started heading back up the driveway and she began hopping in the snow. “Oh, so there’s all that energy,” I said. She was saving it to make sure she would make it back to that warm basement floor. She might need it to fall asleep again. Oh well. I brought her back inside and headed down into the woods myself.
Good thing I had my big boots and snow pants on. If I tried to hike around in anything else, I would have been totally covered in snow. We must have over a foot, because the white stuff was well past my shins and right below my kneecaps. It’s not fun when it hits the skin and starts to melt. Winter is all about dressing the right way. I figured that out a long time ago. Believe it or not, the second time I went skiing, I attempted to go down Mt. Snow in jeans. What an idiot. I’ll chalk that up to being an inexperienced youth.
I had my camera in my pocket and was ready to take some really beautiful shots of the New England woods after a snowstorm. I made it a bit down the hill to the treehouse. I figured I would take a few pictures of it to show you. I mentioned to Laura this morning that we should make a point of fixing it up this summer, just in case we ever wanted to sit up there and watch the woods. It’s situated in a nice little cluster of Hemlocks.
The treehouse is built very well and quite sturdy, so I don’t think we’ll have any problems maintaining it. Laura already climbed up there over the summer to peek out the window. I got about half way up and turned around. I few years ago, I would have been jumping up and down on top of the roof. What the heck happened to me?
I continued down the hill, across the hiking trail, all the way to the river. It’s really not that far, but when you are lifting your knees to your chest, trying to walk, it seems a lot further than it really is.
I made it to the river and took a few photos. This one was the best.
The water wasn’t as active as it was a few days ago, after that huge rainfall we had. It was pretty calm today, but I’m sure we’ll see a change after the rain and warm weather that’s predicted for the next few days.
From there, I stopped to smell the figurative roses. It’s not every day I am able to stand, once again, in silence. It was really nice. There were no footprints anywhere, so I knew I was alone. I took a look around to see what I could take pictures of. It was kind of challenging, because there wasn’t a lot of substance. It’s hard to explain, but in the summer months, there are leaves, trees, flowers, animals, etc…to take pictures of. During winter, there is snow and wood. I did find a few things though…
At that point, I figured that I had enough pictures. Trust me, there were many more than what I am showing you, but so many didn’t come out the way I wanted them to. With many of them, I was experimenting with the various settings on the camera.
When my fingers started getting cold, I turned around to head up the hill.
If you have never seen this hill, I’ll tell you that it’s somewhat difficult walking up when there is no snow on the ground. When there is snow, it’s all the more fun. I made it about half way back up when I stopped at the treehouse again. I saw a few low hanging Hemlock branches, so I pulled the camera back to see what I could do with them.
That was fun because the Hemlock is my all-time favorite tree.
As I rounded the crest of the hill and got closer to civilization, I felt the cold air against my face. I was using a lot of energy, but not sweating in the least. I continued to walk and thought to myself how beautiful winter and snow can really be. I spend so much of my time complaining about how I can’t go outside and plant things, that I overlook much of what this time of year has to offer. Today was a great day to get outside and remind me of that.
The last picture I took was of one of the Rhodedenrums out in front. It looked to good against the blue sky, I just couldn’t help myself.