Alternating Rhythm

I love the winter.

I love the snow and the cold, the skiing and the sledding and tromping about in a winter wonderland.

But I also love the long nights with the extra time inside to play games, read by the fire and even catch a little extra sleep.

When I was outside trying to capture the alternating rhythm in the light on the field for this week’s photo challenge, it occurred to me that maybe part of why I love winter is the alternating rhythm of my days.  With daylight hours spent up and moving in the cold weather and nights reserved for recovering by the warm fire, winter days acquire a rhythm that those long days of summer never do.

Or, maybe, it’s just that I like it when my boogers freeze.

 

 

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Sun on Snow

Photographers Choice, week 5 of the Dogwood Photography Photo Challenge.

I didn’t quite capture the real warmth that the evening light leaves on the snow.

I can’t quite see that feel the evening has when the snow looks like it’s glowing golden alongside the cool blue shadows.

I missed the wintry wonder of being able to see the warmth of the sun even as your cheeks stiffen in the cold.

But that’s okay, we finally have a winter wonderland outside again and I’m happy to try again tomorrow!

Not Just Any White Stuff Will Do

There are all different kinds of snow.

There is the icy, crystally kind that hurts your cheeks when it drives down out of the sky and the impossibly fluffy kind that falls out of the sky in feathery clumps that compact into almost nothing by morning. There are the super cold drifts that squeak beneath your boots and the terrible warmed and refrozen kind that is really just snow shaped ice covering the ground.

The best kind, that never seems to come around as often as you hope, is the wet pack-able kind. This snow, that snowballs and snowmen are made of, shows up on warm days. And those days, when the snow is debating disappearing altogether but hasn’t yet given up it’s hold, those are the days for sledding.sledding

The track becomes hard and packed so you fly down the hill.Ivy sledding

And between the climb of the hill and the warmth of the day everyone can stay out for hours.Jonas sledding

The soft snow that might be turning to slush at the bottom is forgiving of crash landings. Grandma Mary and Ivy sleddingIt will melt on your face and your clothes, until snow pants start to sag with the weight of it.Grandma Mary, Clara and Ivy sledding

It takes a certain kind of day, a certain type of warmth, a certain amount of snow and a perfect hill.Tyler and Jonas sledding

Not just any white stuff will do…John sledding

…if you are looking for…
Jonas and Pete sledding

 

 

… a perfect day on the hill.Jane sledding

It’s Still Coming

The last weekend in February was warm.

Fifty plus degrees warm.

And sunny.

So sunny that two of us ended up sun burnt.

The snow melted, sandals and shorts were dug out of closets (because this is Wisconsin) and we all enjoyed the hint of things to come.

And then, on the first of March (because this is Wisconsin), it snowed.

A perfect, beautiful fluffy snow.  And people howled as if spring had been stolen from them.

icicle

It’s still coming.

Can’t you feel it?

The sun beams warm the patches of floor they fall on.

Can’t you see it?

The chickens are laying more eggs.

speckled chicken egg

The forgotten tulip bulbs have sprouted in their bags.

Even the garlic can’t resist the call of spring as it sends out tiny green tendrils from it’s dark corner of the kitchen.

It’s not here yet.

It’s not time yet.

But a little snow fall can’t stop it.

snow drops

It’s still coming.

 

And Then There Were Six

Ancona ducks in the snowThere are risks to letting the birds free-range during the day.duck feather in the snow

Two ducks disappeared.duck feather in the snow

Nothing was left of them but a few feathers in the falling snow.duck feathers in the snow

There are risks.drake ancona in the snow

But I like to think it’s about the quality of life.Ancona ducks in the snow

Between the legions of furry, sharped-toothed animals and the freezer, many of our ducks won’t live long. But they’ll all live well.

Ancona ducks in the snow

And that makes all the difference.

For those of you who have been wondering, the ducks do fine in the winter. They always can go in and out of their house and on very cold sunny days they usually sit inside soaking up the rays coming through the windows. But, as you can see, even when it’s snowing, they’d rather be outside.