After a very mild fall and early winter, winter has become its usual serious thing here in central Wisconsin.
I went for my walk out in the weather which is always enjoyable, though I did look a bit like I was making ready for an expedition to Everest. I knew I would need to up the wardrobe because the snow made the telltale scrunching sound of real winter when I went out to feed the birds, squirrels and whoever. Not the crackly foreboding when it gets below minus 15 degrees, but the serious scrunching of zero to minus ten (I learned some things living in the woods and one of them was ‘temperature by snow crunch’. Another useful lesson was ‘If I put toads in my pockets, they will pee on me.’)
I did not find too many animals, human and otherwise, outside which is no surprise. In an odd way it was reminiscent of a very hot summer afternoon except for the frozen breath following behind the few who were venturing out. Even then there were a few who were having a pretty good time in the winter wonderland.
I met one gentleman cross-country skiing along the river. Another couple was walking their two golden retrievers, the dogs dressed in booties and jackets and very happy to have found someone to greet. So I guess not everyone stays inside to wait out the winter. I’m sure a few of my musher friends think zero to ten below is perfect weather for running the dogs and the dogs are always ready to pull a sled no matter what the weather. Some furry kids just plain like it and have no problem skijoring with their buddies for however long they get to accompany their guardians The local ski hill reports they stay busy when the temperature drops and I have friends who were snowmobiling this weekend, though I think they should take up snowshoeing (most dogs enjoy it when properly outfitted) and often encourage them to do so.
Even in ‘inclement’ weather the beauty of the Earth is there to embrace.
For those of you who remain unconvinced I leave you with what I hope is some encouraging thoughts: the days are growing longer as they make their way to the equinox and glorious spring is only sixty-one days away.
If you still find yourself stuck in the blues, well, Bailey’s and hot chocolate will cure just about anything.