The dogs and I have been out in the Big Empty enjoying the snow that’s on the ground. I learned today that most of Colorado is covered with snow and that the snow pack in the mountains is 134% of normal. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the drought, but it’s a good sign. Snow is falling right now. Little flakes, gray sky, pure January aesthetic.
We went out Friday while the snow was falling. I didn’t know until I got out of town that it wasn’t just snow. Fog! Beautiful, adding to the silence and mystery. The snow was wet and on the warm side. The light was flat and the Refuge was beautiful in a way I hadn’t experienced before. It reminded me of the under-painting of the big crane painting and gave me the thought of actually painting THAT. There was no sign of life beyond the slow low flight of a Northern Harrier in front of me.
We walked our walk, the dogs each having its turn at the side off the road where the good stuff is. Bear’s and Teddy’s feet accumulated snow balls, but both of them are happy to have me pull them out. The featured photo is the end of that snowstorm.
Saturday I woke up to find the fog had lingered, leaving its beautiful mark on the tops of the trees, but dipping low enough to regale my lilac bush.
Yesterday we were out again. The sun was shining, and the walk was beautiful. Enough people had driven on the road that there were nice tracks for me. I don’t mind walking through the snow at all, but when Teddy is pulling one way and Bear the other it’s a little less fun. Not a lot less fun, just a little less fun. By yesterday, the snow had crystalized over night, so it didn’t stick to the dogs’ paws.
On our return, a truck stopped. Turned out it was some people I haven’t seen in four years! but like very much so we caught up, laughed, chuckled, and enjoyed the moment. It’s an interesting phenomenon how that place, as solitary as it is, often results in my having a great conversation with someone. I guess it’s kind of a funnel. Anyone who’s out there is probably someone I want to talk to and who wants to talk to me.
I’m hoping for four inches or a little more of snow. I will take the Langlauf skis to the Refuge — or the golf course — if that happens. The snow that’s there now will be a very nice base for fresh powder. It’s slightly packed and will have had the chance to crystalize a few times.
I have no projects hanging fire other than reading books for the contest. At the moment I’m between shipments. They come twice during the winter and the second shipment will come next month which is not that far away. I have electronic submissions to read right now.