The Winter Solstice arrives today at 5:02 a.m., just as this post is publishing. As my long-time followers know, Winter is my least-favorite season. I dislike driving in the ice and snow just as much as I dislike walking in it. Once it is icy and dicey on our City streets and sidewalks, the same conditions are usually found on the perimeter path at my favorite nature nook. This curtails my walking regimen immensely as you might imagine. I really don’t mind the cold, and, since I took the bus to Downtown Detroit for over three decades, I have amassed a collection of woolen hats, warm wraps, mitts and gloves, plus lug-soled boots. As long as it is clear and dry outside, off I go to walk at the Park.
If you don’t like the weather in Michigan, wait five minutes.
The first Christmas Day I walked at Council Point Park, back in 2013, we had a pop-up snow squall on my second time around the perimeter path. Earlier that morning, people lamented on social media about our lack of fresh snow to add a little Christmas ambiance. I was the opposite of these folks as I was overjoyed no additional snow had fallen, since it had been slick and slippery at the Park the last time I had walked there. It’s no joy having to step around layers of snow and ice on the pathway, so I figured this was Mother Nature’s little gift to me.
But, soon into my walk, I realized I had been a tad overconfident about the wiles of Mother Nature. The sky quickly darkened and I remember looking up and thinking “well, that’s a snow sky if I’ve ever seen one.” Mere minutes later, enormous snowflakes began to fall then swirl around my feet. In a heartbeat, the huge snowflakes began to slicken up the path and I couldn’t see what icy patches were beneath, so I cut across the grassy “donut area” to head for home. Home is just one mile away, but the snow was flying furiously by then and snowflakes had drifted and deposited heaps of the white stuff on the streets and sidewalks. Additionally, a stiff wind had blown up and I struggled to keep my balance as the gusts buffeted me. My parka hood insisted on flipping backward, and, unbelievably, by the time I reached home, snow had glommed onto every crease or crevice of my parka and the hood was filled with snow.
That was the longest walk home ever! I brushed off all the snow and with a nose as red as a cherry, (just like Santa and also my parka), I hustled into the house, grumbling all the way. “What just happened here?” I asked of no one in particular. I was sure a mere half-hour before I was enjoying my walk and working up an appetite for an early Christmas dinner and here I was with a saturated coat and hat, plus numb from my nose to my toes.
We’ve been fairly lucky so far in November and December, except for the November 30th snowstorm where the snow melted in a few days and last Wednesday’s minor accumulation blip. I wish we could remain unscathed by wintry weather the remainder of this season, but two mild Winters in a row likely won’t happen.
A year of seasons.
Once before I captured four images, one for each season, of the identical fork in the road, er … beginning of the walking path. This was the collage I made back in 2017.
I always start off on the right side, as it runs parallel to the Creek, has the most trees, thus many squirrels and birds. I prefer going in this direction, though it really doesn’t matter, however, when going to the left, I sneak up on Harry the Heron when he’s fishing and he freaks out more than usual. Here are the photos taken to mark each season in this new decade. I would have liked a photo with lots of dandelions for my Spring picture, but dandelion season happened the month the Park was closed due to COVID (May 1st through June 2nd).
Just ten more days until 2020 comes to a close … we all can’t wait!