It happens every year

Black lab with snow mustache

Winter creeps up on us, just a little bit, and then pounces. We never really know when the first big snow will be, or when temperatures will suddenly plummet. The fall is a bit of a dance around here, and just last weekend – a mere seven days ago – it was pleasantly mild, and we did a huge tidy down in our greenhouse field (tilling, mowing, and generally clearing up). All that seems like a thousand years ago.

Boy and dog on the trail in early winter

Today it was minus nine celsius (about 15 F for our American friends), but the wind made it seem so much colder. Coupled with a fresh fall of snow, we felt suddenly thrust into winter.

Dry grasses and snow

Boy wrapped up against the cold

Early winter has its charms, though. Like testing the ice on a stream that has only just begun to freeze properly.

Boy testing the ice

This is an activity that only a ten-year old knows how to savour fully.

Boy stepping on ice in streambed

Finding the first evidence of a snowshoe hare is always, always a thrill.

Track of a snowshoe hare in snow

And then it’s back to testing another patch of easily broken ice, because that just never gets boring.

Dog on bridge while boy plays in stream

As this dog knows all too well now.

Black lab wandering along frozen streambed

After all that, the best part of a wintry walk is heading home to get warm. We had hot chocolate and warmed up gingerbread; Reggie flopped in front of the woodstove.

Snow covered bridge by the pond

11 thoughts on “It happens every year

  1. Oh that sounds chilly but lovely at the same time. I totally remember the joys of ice testing when I was Petkid’s age…my brother and I had various flooded bits of the field named for different oceans, and we’d go slipping and crunching our way around the seven seas…

    1. It was an exceptionally nice walk, cold fingers and all! I love that story from your childhood, what great memories. Kids just know how to do that stuff right.

  2. I’m in awe of Petkid testing the ice! That kind of bravery deserves a reward and hot chocolate sounds pretty spot-on. Minus 9°!!! I cannot even begin to imagine in my wildest dreams how that would feel, and I’m embarrassed to admit that we were whining about the weather on the weekend when it dropped to 16°.
    Snowshoe hare – now that has conjured up a surreal picture in my head.

    1. He’d love to hear that! We’ve been known to whinge and whine with the best of them, just so you don’t start think of us as heroically hearty! The start of the season is usually the worst, but it can happen any time. Now, it’s all relative, isn’t it – it was 16 here last weekend, and while it was hardly warm, it seemed warm enough after recent dips into colder temps. 🙂

      The snowshoe hare does have a funny name, but then you see the size of those massive back paws and it makes sense! They are the coolest creatures – snow white in winter, tawny brown in the warm months, and patchy in between the seasons, making for year-round camo.

  3. Nice to have hot chocolate after an outing like that. I need to make an addition to my grocery list, Once I get past the shock of the first cold snap, I do enjoy Winter, same for the first snowfall. The problem is that these firsts are followed by many more. By mid-January, I’m ready for a first of a different kind, like first day over 60˚. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

    1. It sure is; simple pleasures are magnified at times like that. I think the winter is hard for a lot of us because of it feels like an ending, rather than a beginning, after those pleasant ‘firsts’. I know I have to work to rustle up some enthusiasm for it now. My (British) husband is lucky; having only moved over here long into adulthood, he still finds the whole thing novel. I’m waiting for it to wear off…

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