Midwinter Thaw

We started this winter with a bang, and now all 71.9 inches of snow are thawing.  It has been above freezing for a couple days now, and may be again overnight.  We went to our park, one of the advantages of this park over the most popular Green Lakes State Park (hot bed of deer ticks) is that it is just not a particularly muddy trail.  The paths are still pretty leaf strewn and these trails are not for the faint of heart, not too many people travel over the trails that I know will be safe. despite the icy slushy snow.  The limestone is slick and wet, and the snow is more (or less) forgiving over the cracks, we tread slowly and carefully, sticking close together and with some missteps into the broad openings.  We pass a family of four, I warn the dad of one particularly deceptive spot ahead, the little boy says something about safe and I think he is scared.  He may have already slipped into a spot from what the dad says.  Its an adventure I say cheerfully.  The mom says yes it is enthusiastically.  I pass Santa Claus and a Burmese Mountain Dog.  Good day for a walk, he says in his Norwegian accent.  Indeed it is.  A Chinese woman slides on the  limestone and falls on her butt, her boyfriend reaches to pick her up.  They were in the lot when I was and they are headed back to it already, not for the faint of heart.  I continue along taking the long path up Pulpit Rock.  Stopping to view the quarry scared area, I think on the path that shows the impact of man, a few sawn logs across the trail, a few broken branches and well tread path, and the contrast to this the destruction of man.  The old quarry building and the new, the muddy slag heap, the deep scars where nothing grows, and the long line of power wires and the burnt remnants of poisoned weeds.  I sigh and head back to the woods.  I take it slowly.  Enjoying it.  Not striving to be best or better, just taking pleasure in each step.  Not looking ahead eyes cast down to avoid ice patches and mud.  Just one step at a time along the path.  The trees creak above me and we stop and listen.

The back end of the trail is absolutely sopping wet and I can feel my boots getting heavy.  I suppose I should invest in waterproof snow boots, but I kind of have this desire to not buy any new clothing for a whole year.  Who knows how long this will last.  I come down the last hill and hear a person playing a recorder.  They are not good, but practiced and I stop to listen.  A woman comes over the rise and her Corgi runs towards us.  The dogs greet pleasantly and I talk to the woman for several minutes, each of us exchanging cuddles with each others dogs.  I really like Corgis they are friendly.  Her dog is the exact same size as mine but with shorter legs.

I feel refreshed and relaxed.  I think I will paint this afternoon.  First time in ages.


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