Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Walk in the Snow

Blue sky and forty degrees today. That meant go out into the snow. The Ice Age Trail is beautiful in winter, beautiful in summer, and slushily beautiful when weather is above freezing in February. I am fortunate to have a segment of the trail on county highway PD near my home.

I was prepared for several scenarios. I took snowshoes, two pairs of boots, and one pair of walking shoes. Also one jacket that proved to be too warm. One look at the parking lot and the trail suggested that I leave the snowshoes in the car. Not enough snow. Too much snow to go without boots.

Trudging up and down hills in slush is work. It also is invigorating. Right away I saw a beautiful springer spaniel walking a man. Then, when farther uphill, I looked over the panorama of city development that is very near the trail, but far away enough to not interfere with the rural character. A small woods provided some variety. Since I didn’t want to slide downhill at the far end of the woods, I turned around and reversed my direction. I walked until the winter coat seemed superfluous. As I said, walking in slush is work.

The high grasses on the fields manifest a great number of colors; some are golden, some are more brown or more gray. It’s winter beauty that often goes unseen. Who cares about grass, especially when it is three feet tall? Apparently I do. The snow is heavy and white, with gray slush. In some places the ground is evident. That’s winter in all its variety and wonderfulness.

You don’t know what the Ice Age Trail is? Go to your favorite search engine and type Ice Age Trail and Wisconsin. Or try this: The trail is part of a national trail system, with many segments in Wisconsin.

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