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Snowy Run

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I run so I don't run away.

Some days that's true. Most days it's only partly true. I don't know how I made it through the gray Ohio Valley winters before I ran. It was more difficult.

It gets dicey when our road ices up, and the township doesn't do a thing about it. The whole thing turns into a skating rink. And then, much as I need to get out, I have a deathly fear of breaking something and being sidelined.

Chet seems to share that fear. On this day I try three times, and three times I fail to get him to accompany me. He apologizes with ears pasted against his little grapefruit head, wide googly eyes. I am sorry, so sorry. But this is not fit weather for man or beast. I am staying home, swaddled in fleece, to wait for you. 

And he turns tail and heads for the house. His tracks, a picture of canine indecision.

He lowtails it to the house, stands on the porch and waits for me to plod back and let him in. Then watches me leave from the foyer window, his little black and white cowface forlorn but resolute. I won't beg anyone to come running with me. I don't beg anyone to do anything with me. I miss them, but I'm fine alone, too.

I go back out the driveway. Damn, I miss that red oak on snowy empty days, almost as much as I miss her on hot summer mornings. She left a hole in my heart when she fell.

On days like this when our road looks like this I pick my way over this horrible icy mess and

  run the main roads, on the wet salt and cinders. And as I go slowly along I think about how lucky I am to have these landscapes to consider. I think about how much they change day by day, month by month, season by season.

Here's late December.

And as unbelievable as it seems now, here's a Sunday in mid-September.
I didn't mean to plant myself in exactly the same spot. I just stand where the picture happens to be.

It all just blows me away. I wonder how I manage to stay inside for a minute on a sunny day in September. The answer is: I don't. I drink it all in as if it were life itself. Because it is.

As it looks now.

And at dawn in August.

But the cold winter air is life itself, too, and I have learned to appreciate its narrow gifts. December can't give the luscious fruit that September does, but it has its stark beauty. I could paint this scene, oh yes I could. Much more easily and effectively than I could produce a September scene.

The warm crimson of this barn against the silver gray hills, its weathered doors almost a continuation of the color and pattern of the forested hill behind...ohhh.

I have to bring a camera along now and then, especially when the new snow has fallen.

 A hayrake sits out, tines stirring snowflakes.

I decide to climb to an old country church and check out its cemetery. It's not just running, it's aesthetic exercise. Next time...gravestones, and a few more of my favorite things. Snowflakes on mittens and whiskers on kittens. Or something like that.

Half moon on one hand
Sun rising on the other
Twenty-two. Walking.
Ice so treacherous
It could snap bone, and with it
Close-kept sanity.


Grey here today and the dihydrogen monoxide is in a liquid, misty mood.
I do love these grey snow posts.

The winter landscape is quite beautiful. Not lush like September, but quiet and sleepy, getting ready.

"aesthetic exercise" - wonderful! I may need to steal that phrase to explain my behavior sometime.

I can't believe I'm actually going to say it, but I actually miss the snow and cold weather. The photo of the red barn in the gray landscape is stunning!

ok, don't hate me, but I am hoping for some gray skies with Great Gray Owls, snow with a Snowy Owl, wintery trees with Boreal Chickadees, and perhaps some other treats of winter in Duluth, MN. Winter landscapes are my favorite!

Kathy in Delray Beach

I LOVE this post!

Beautiful pictures. Thank you.

Posted by Musicmom January 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Oooo, yes! Gravestones! I know I'm a bit macabre, but I love old gravestones, and sometimes will spend an hour or so walking through an old cemetery with my camera, taking pictures and talking to the dead people (they don't usually answer back, but you never know...)

Posted by Anonymous January 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Julie get yourself a pair of Ice Trekker Diamond Grips to go over whatever shoes you're wearing. That's what winter runners here in Alberta, Canada wear and they work.

Hello, I enjoyed your much earlier post (March 7, 2010) on Bird Suet Receipe-"Zick Dough". I have followed the New Zick Dough receipe, however I wish to have a sticker mix so that it will make firm suet cakes once set in cold outdoor (VT. winter)temp. So I am experimenting with modified ingredient list. Your posting convinced me to try Unmedicated chicken feed.
Here is my base ing. list. I will continue to experiment with amts. to get best cake firmness. (Ration: 2 wet, 4 dry ing.)
1 Cup rendered fat or store bought lard.
1 Cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup corn meal (Bobs Red mill is 100% whole grain)
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups chicken starter (unmedicated
1/2 cup flour
Opt. 1 cup peanuts (unsalted)

* I don't know if the white bleached flour is a good for the birds or not. Your thoughts? Tempted to leave it out, however it might be helping to keep the cake consistency VS crumbly mix.
Do you have any updates on your experimentation with homemade bird suet receipes?
Bernie Paquette
South Burlington, VT
P.S. Ck out my posting on homemade bird nest boxes that I built and hung up.

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