It's a bright Sunday afternoon in February, with several inches of fresh powder on an already deep snow base. The temp is 22º, and a biting east wind is blowing as Tallulah and I set out for a stroll.
Fluffy down is drifting through the air from the cattails at the edge of the marsh:
We leave the road and head for the prairie restoration project. Once on the path, I find that the snow is much deeper than I thought; soon my boots are full of it.
At the edge of the prairie restoration project grow some of my favourite grasses, with fine golden seed heads above...
...and curling leaves below.
The trail continues snowy. Every step is hard work, and I mentally kick myself for not putting on wool socks (which stay warm even when wet). I remind myself that I'm getting good exercise. I tell myself that walking this slowly encourages me to live in the moment and notice things I might not otherwise notice - like this tree, the dry leaves of which are clicking like castanets in the wind:
Tallulah climbs up on one of the twigs, hoping to catch a glimpse of spring:
"Can you see it?" I ask.
"Not yet," she says.
A little farther on, we strike the snowmobile trail. What a relief to be walking on packed snow!
We pass a sign that causes my spelling hackles to rise...
...but keep going straight down the trail, which eventually leaves the prairie restoration project and heads out into the country.
We reach a favourite line of pines:
Then the trail turns right and dips through the edge of the woods:
Out the other side, as we turn off the trail proper, a snowmobile roars out of the woods behind us and zips around the corner.
We decide to head back towards town, following the track of a renegade snowmobiler who has crossed the field before us (ignoring all the signs adjuring snowmobiles to stay on the trail).
Tallulah decides to take a closer look at the track...
...and gets a face full of snow.
Nothing daunted, she looks down the track and exclaims, "This would be great for turtle luge!"
(Personally I think turtles are better suited to skeleton, but I keep this thought to myself.)
Portrait of a Snow Turtle:
We cross the field and arrive back at the path that circles the prairie restoration project. Here the snowdrifts are three feet deep (ask me how I know!):
We flounder through the drifts, then down the deep-snowed path, and eventually reach again the blessedly packed snowmobile trail, which we follow all the way back to town (being passed by several snowmobiles on the way).
A strenuous snowy walk on a beautiful winter's day.
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What did you do this weekend?
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