Friday, November 21, 2008

Here comes the sun!

Frost on the kayakAfter a week and a half straight of cloudy, dreary, rainy, sleety, snowy, freezing weather, the sun is shining today! Ten days of grey really starts to wear on a person. I think the critters outside even felt better today, despite our single digit temps this morning. From my office window view of the front yard I could see many squirrels, both red and grey, out and about today, scampering up and around in the empty tree branches. I did not see the pileated woodpecker today, although he has been a frequent visitor lately. But no matter, the exuberant squirrels made up for any lack. As I stepped out on the front porch to taste the morning air and send my husband off to work this morning, I was struck by how beautiful a morning really is when the sun shines. A crow sailed by above the trees, its tail feathers illuminated by the low sun barely peeking from beyond the trees across the road. Chickadees and nuthatches were actively warming themselves up by flitting from branch to branch. A small flock of robins even landed in the tree near the front door, inspecting the berries still clinging to the branches. Frost sparkled on every smooth surface. I grabbed my camera and headed back outside to snap a few shots, to see if I could figure out the Macro setting on my little digital. I snapped a few shots of the frost on my car, and the kayak, and scurried back inside to warm up. Where did this ice come from??At lunch time, while my slices of potato and onion, drizzled with olive oil and herbs baked in the oven, I went for a walk down to the lake. It had been 10 days since I had last been down to the shore, Nov. 11, the last time I had paddled, a clear, sunny, calm day, where I had braved temps of 32 to get on the water one more time. I had not counted on it being my last. My paddling journal states the latest I had ever paddled, and this was back when we lived in Duluth, was November 18, and it had been 50 ° that day. I certainly believed I could break that record this year, as I was not yet ready to put my boat away in the sling under the back deck. But my walk down to the lakeshore today cracked any hopes I still had of paddling. Even if the temperatures climbed back into the high 20’s or low 30’s, temps I could safely navigate with extra layers of clothing and safety gear, the water was not going to cooperate. A large sheet of ice already covered most of the bay including the shoreline where I put in. In fact, there was so little open water left anywhere that I almost couldn’t believe it, as the smaller lake on the way to town had absolutely no ice on it at all when I passed by it only yesterday! Frozen bubblesMy disappointment at realizing my paddling season was officially “over” was soon replaced by utter joy and amazement at the beauty before me. New ice is a wondrous thing, especially if it freezes during a calm night. When that happens, the ice freezes crystal clear, giving you an eerie view of the bottom of the lake. I played around with my digital macro again, trying to capture the magic of the new ice and the bubbles where ice met sand. But lunch hours do not last forever, and I still had food in the oven. The walk back home, despite being uphill and cold, passed in a flash, as my mind was still elsewhere, savoring the stillness of the frozen water and the metamorphosis my lake had undergone during my short absence. I quickly remembered my hunger as I came into the house, greeted by More bubbles!the aroma of baked potatoes and onions. I hurriedly removed layers of hats, gloves, boots, and jacket on my way to the kitchen, as eager to fill up my now growling stomach, as I had just been to fill up my heart with sunshine and ice. Blessings!


Tekwrangler said...

I think you might be a poet.

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