I know you are probably thinking–Well, Dah! You live in Wisconsin, and it is the depths of winter. Yeah, it’s going to snow! I guess we were spoiled by the earlier part of the season and shocked out of our complacency by the Polar Vortex.
The lack sunlight, 10 inches of snow, and the 30 below zero kind of got me down. So when it warmed up, we decided to get out and get some exercise. We strapped on the snow shoes and headed down to the county park down the hill from our neighborhood. Sure, it was snowing and blowing, but we figured once we got down in the valley by the lake it would be more sheltered and easier going.
It was like walking in a snow globe that had just been shaken. Kind of cool–if you will excuse the pun. The snow was heavy, and I had to stop regularly. My husband is in shape, so he just had a pleasant walk while I was having my workout.
The lake was pretty much frozen except where there are springs that warm the water. We had gone from way below zero to 40 degrees F, and then it snowed and cooled down again. There were people out on the lake ice fishing with their kids. We could hear their ice augers as we walked deeper into the park. They pull some pretty big fish out our little lake–large Northerns and bass. We also have beaver and muskrat on the lake that are active in warmer weather.
As we followed the spring fed creek up the valley, I noticed that there was more watercress growing then I had ever seen there before. The whole bottom of the stream bed was covered with it. It was the only natural splash of color in the valley.
I noticed some birds flitting around the water’s edge and, on taking a closer look, realized they were a pair of blue birds! The park has a very long blue bird trail with many nesting boxes. I knew that the blue birds were supposed to come back in February, but seeing is believing. It is hard to imagine how anything can make a living during this seemingly barren time of the year.
I guess we have hope. I’ll be listening for those first robins that are supposed to be arriving in 12 days! Begonia