After dealing with a dusting of snow on the pumpkin on November 7th, then the big snowfall (8.8 inches/22 cm) on November 11th, most people here in the Mitten State settled in for that extra-long and very-wicked Winter that was predicted way back in October. But, it turned out that the snow was whisked away within a week and we returned to a Fall-like feel for most of the time since then.
We have had snow showers or flurries in the forecast several times the past few days, but they never seemed to materialize – that’s okay with me. Ol’ Man Winter likely has a few blizzards and Polar Vortex events up his sleeve, so for now, it is good to just seize the day and get out and walk as much as I can.
We’ve had very few appearances of the sun and each day seems grayer than the last. It seems hard to believe, but our weather folks wowed us with the fact that the entire month of November passed by without a single ray of sunshine in SE Michigan!
So, when the clouds parted and the sun dared to show its face, it was cause for celebration. I know I was all giddy, snapping photos of the long shadows of me alongside my furry friend Parker. I’m going to feature Parker in an upcoming post where we engaged in some fun shadow play just for kicks.
My camera was busy clicking away throughout December and I spent a good part of New Year’s Day wading through all my December photos and separating them into various bite-sized posts, to be published throughout January. Unbelievably, I have also amassed a lot of photos from a few very long treks in the Summer and I have yet to even poke through them. I thought it would refreshing to have a few posts chock full of flowers, bees and butterflies in the dead of Winter. I am sure you’ll agree. In fact, 2019 was the first year that I did not always write a post with accompanying photos the same day I went on a long weekend walk; the exception was the four 5Ks I participated in during May and June.
As to this post, it memorializes a walk I took shortly after our Arctic Blast in mid-December. The Creek was still frozen over and it was quite nippy when I arrived. Harry had done his laborious and treacherous trek across the Creek the day before. With just the faintest glimmer of sun present, even though the bare branches on trees and bushes against a monochromatic sky made for a drab walk, I was still able to find a little beauty at my favorite nature nook.
It was a tranquil scene with the images of the trees reflecting on the ice and snow.
Ice covered the Creek and we had a very light dusting of snow that resembled icing sugar as it sprinkled across parts of the ice.
It sure looked desolate with no ducks frolicking in the water, nor geese gliding down the center of the Creek. All was very still.
It looked very desolate indeed.
Ice outlined the Creek banks, likely where the water lapped up and froze in place.
My blah trek was devoid of any bright colors, just a few teasels standing at attention like soldiers …
…and the milkweed pods that had gone to seed and looked like cotton batting that formerly filled up their now-frozen shells.
I walked along, my head swiveling from side to side as I looked for my furry and feathered pals, but they were reluctant to leave the comfort of their cozy nests until I was on my third lap around and the squirrels finally ventured out and came scurrying over to greet me, as if I’d just arrived. (Kids!!!)
From afar, and across this portion of the Creek, which surface was as smooth as glass, I saw Harry had perched in his favorite tree with those pale, gray-blue feathers standing out against the weathered and dead wood.
He stood like a bump on a log, glanced at me, then quickly turned his back, obviously not eager for a photo op since I had no fish or frogs to entice him to pose for me. I guess he was happy to be overseeing his kingdom and not fishing for the time being.
On my last lap around the perimeter path, Harry was hunkered down, his head barely discernible in those feathers and I guess he was sleeping. I strained to see if he slept with his head turned backwards and buried in his feathers, like most other waterfowl, but I couldn’t tell.
One thing’s for certain – he likely awoke from his nap with “bed head” like this painted rock I found that morning at the base of a memorial tree.