Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Wonders Never Cease

I've spent the last month trying to talk myself out of it. The thought keeps presenting itself, and I continually dismiss it as ludicrous. I can no longer. So, I'm going on record. Let it be said, that at least for this year, winter is my favorite season. My reasons:

1) You can see through the trees. I live in a forest, and in the winter I can see beyond the vegetation that surrounds us on every side. Deer, rushing streams and the night sky become visible neighbors in the winter.

2) I own my favorite hiking trails. I hike in the state park adjacent to my property. I hike hundreds of miles a year here, and during this season, I can hike for hours seeing and hearing only wildlife and the wind in the treetops.

3) Sweat-free hiking. Winter provides me the opportunity to pile on the layers, work hard in the hills--huffing and puffing past non-stop beauty without getting hot. In fact, usually I ditch the gloves before I'm finished, even in sub freezing temps.

4) No snakes. I like that too.

5) Snow. On a good year, like this one, there is a beautiful white accent lacing the forest and hills around me. We have been fortunate to have more than the average amount of snow this year, along with a colder than normal winter. These enhance the breathtaking views where I live, work and hike. The white also keeps the trail bright after dark, extending the normally darker season. Though I don't do them all every year, there are many fun things to do in the snow: sledding, skiing, hiking, snow shoeing and skitching to name a few. Ever skitched?

6) The air seems more fresh. Right now it's about nineteen degrees Fahrenheit outside. Perfect. Makes you feel alive. Hot tubs are unbearable when the temperature is above twenty.

7) Night skies. Night time skies are not the same in the spring, summer or fall as on a cold winter night. I can step outside and take a few steps down the hill around my home and be submerged in a sky so inky dark, I feel I can touch the stars.

8) German Shepherd weather. My shepherd is in a great mood all winter. She lays and plays in a falling snow, runs through the woods just for the joy of the sprint; and unless it is way colder than it is now, she'll always greet me between the car and the front door. She's built for it.

9) Wood Stove. My furnace hasn't been on this winter. Around here they say that "burnin' wood'll het you twiced." This means that when you split the wood you get warm, as well as when you burn it. I would say that it will heat you a lot more than that. The wood heats you when you cut it, move it, split it, stack it, move it to stack it again in the carport, move it into the house before burning, when you put it in the stove and it pours out the heat AND when you sit and look at it glow and burn.

10) More family time. Winter holds the "holiday season." People seem to shut down their lives earlier in the evening. I allow myself more evenings at home in the winter, and it's just easier to gather with friends and family. Winter is a "warm" season in so many ways.

Well, there are many more, but you get the idea. I've lived in winter free zones. I loved the people there, and truly love the desert. But life without winter seems to be...well, lacking.


Anonymous said...

I like this blog a lot!

Mr. Chris said...

People born in areas with one season will never understand this.