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My window is a black and white photograph of a snowy winter scene. Oh, there are colors, of course: the dull French gray of tree trunks spiking up out of endless white; a darker green peeking from under snowy pine branches; and the paler green of a moss whispering, Spring is not lost forever.
But Old Man Winter is letting us know he’s still in control today and the chaos of blowing snow sheens everything colorless.
T likes summer with its vibrant blues and greens, but winter is so…sophisticated in its starkness. The stars are sharper, the moon is brighter and the trees are pointedly dignified.
(I’m trying to put more description in my writing. Is it working?)
And best of all, I now have someone to help me shovel.
Owen, too, loves winter. With his heavy white coat and padded neck, this dog was built for snow. Don’t tell me it wasn’t Fate that rescued him from the deep South and brought him up here. Some things in the world have to make sense.
He likes to play tug-of-war with himself.
Because he’s a freak. He also likes to eat snow. Clean snow. Dirty snow. Soft snow, crunchy snow. A lot of snow.
Because he’s a freak.
The fluttering flakes instantly inspired a trail tribute.
So, here is a post I should’ve posted long ago:
All 2,865 ft of it. Okay, fine. The elevation gain was only 900 ft. But the views were as good as some of the 3,500-footers I’ve been on and the trail itself, with its snow-blanketed trees, was almost as lovely as anything I’ve ever seen.
It was a good pick for our first winter trail. The slight slip of the snow gave a little extra challenge to a 3-mile roundtrip hike and, though we carried our snowshoes, we never needed them on the packed trail.
Which is good, because I hate snowshoeing. It’s way too much work.
The incline of this trail had me sweating pretty good, though. I was stripping off layers at every turn. By the time we reached the top I was down to my polypro shirt and microfleece and I was carrying my hat and mittens.
T commented that the snow overhang made it feel like we were walking in a closed corridor. This was true and never more evident than as we broke through to the summit.
(Look familiar? See blog header for reference.)
Once we hit the ledge on top…
Did I mention that the views were amazing?
Still on the emotional high that comes from reuniting with a husband who had been in a war zone for nine months, every day of which I feared for his safety, I cried tears of awe and joy as I looked out over this scene. Hiking with T infused me with more happiness than I thought I could feel again and it overwhelmed me in wave after wave.
Once we had looked our fill and were starting to feel chilly, we started back. On the way down, we came across a gray jay. Gray jays are pretty much blue jays, only slightly bigger and, um, gray.
They also differ from blue jays in that they have no fear. Whereas blue jays are screaming pansies that shy away from chickadees at the bird feeder, gray jays will perch lightly on your hand to peck daintily at a proffered crumb.
Mt Tom (shown above) is the only other place I’ve seen gray jays. T, Denis and I spent a chilly afternoon one September in 2007 feeding them portions of our lunch.
Seeing them on Willard was like seeing an old friend. Everything about this hike was perfect.
Or maybe I was just seeing it through rose-colored glasses.
But I’m okay with that.