I love to go a-wandering along a snowy trail, looking for signs left by others who've been out on their business of living.
We had deep cold, then big snows and then huge rain, and now the gray, foggy, misty rains seem to have settled in. But it's no fun just staying home, so out we went, on a couple of leisurely strolls.
The walk around Crow Point near the Boy Scout camp and the Eagle River estuary is easy. Sometimes there is lots of wildlife activity, but on this day, things were very quiet.
One day in early November, the Parks and Recreation hiking group wandered among the mining ruins south of Sandy Beach and emerged into sunshine in the muskegs at the foot of Mount Jumbo.
Before I even left the house, I saw that a porcupine had trundled over the ice on my pond. Back and forth couple of times, and then - oops! - the ice near shore apparently gave way.
On a cool, sunny day in early November, I found several lovely but conventional things to admire: sunlight on snowy peaks, hoarfrost patterns on fallen leaves, graceful golden-russet fronds of last summer's lady ferns, a lichen-and-moss garden on an old stump.However, it occurred to me that sometimes a beautiful or at least very useful thing can emerge from the ugly, filthy, and squalid. Here are some examples:
Most of us think of plants as being green, at least in summer. The green comes from the pigment chlorophyll, which uses sunlight to knit carbon dioxide and water together, forming carbohydrates that the plant can metabolize.
October came in with the usual gray, rainy days, some expected seasonal changes, and a few little surprises. The mallards on my home pond gradually molted into their breeding plumage, so I could now distinguish males from females, in most cases.
We pass the autumn equinox, and the days get ever shorter. They've been getting shorter ever since late June, but now we really begin to feel it. The fall rains are here, and when we look out our windows, we see gray gray gray.
After a stroll through our rainforest, checking out seed-filled bear scats, vivid scarlet mushrooms and highbush cranberries glowing a brilliant red in a remarkably sunny (in September!) understory, I ventured out onto the sand flats and gravel bars near the mouth of Eagle River.
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