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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

 

Birdhouse

Cute, little birdhouse on our front porch

 

That first significant snow of the year is always exciting.   For us it was even more wonderful since were able to get away to our little cottage in the woods.  We arrived just as the snow stopped falling.  It was so beautiful to pull in the drive and see everything covered in a blanket of beautiful, white snow.  

 

Fern Gully

First snowfall of the year at Fern Gully

 

As soon as we got unpacked and had a bite of lunch, we headed out for a walk in the woods.  Our dog, Denver, was THRILLED.

 

Denver in the snow

Happy Denver

 

We passed several neighboring cabins along they way and they all looked warm and inviting nestled in their new covering of snow, although they were probably all freezing inside since many of the cabins do not have heat.   I couldn’t resist pulling my phone out to snap a few pictures.

 

Cabin 1

Cabin in the woods

Cabin 2

Don’t you just want to drive down that lane?

Cabin 3

Beautiful cabin surrounded by pines

Osaga Lodge

Osaga Lodge

 

After passing several cabins we took a trail through the woods.  There is nothing like walking through virgin snow in the forest.  (Michaux State Forest)

 

Path in the woods

Into the woods

 

I’m sure that by February I won’t be quite as thrilled by the snow, but for today it was absolutely breathtaking and I enjoyed it thoroughly!  🙂  It’s a beautiful day in the Michaux State Forest.

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MY VALENTINE “GIFT”

It is Valentine’s Day and I was given a VERY ‘cool’ gift—a beautiful snowy morning.

 

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As I stepped out the back door I was greeted with a view that literally made me stop in my tracks.   Everything was covered with a layer of beautiful, white snow.  Something about the snow clinging to the branches made me feel like I had stepped in to a winter wonderland.  Being in the season of Lent and purposefully focusing on the gifts God has given me, I couldn’t help but see this as a Valentine gift from the only One who can create such beauty.  

I could not resist the urge to bundle up and head out for a walk with my dog, Denver.  I took my camera along in order to capture some of this beauty while it lasted.  With the sun beginning to shine on the trees, I knew the snow wouldn’t last long.

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As I walked through the beautiful, white carpet of snow, it felt so invigorating and cleansing.  Seeing all of nature covered in white reminded me of a scripture that was read last night at the Ash Wednesday service.  Psalm 51:7 :Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  There is nothing more pure and clean than a fresh snowfall.  

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As I came to the part of the path where the sun had been shining the longest, I could already hear the snow beginning to melt and fall to the ground.  I knew that it was only a matter of time before all of the trees, bushes and grass would lose their snowy covering.  Being aware of this, I savored each moment and tried to appreciate every bit of the natural beauty as I walked.

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Denver, my Golden Retriever also appreciated this special gift.  When he first realized that we were going for a walk in the snowy field he began to frantically run around in large circles.  It’s like he was so delighted that he just couldn’t contain himself any longer.  It almost made me wish I was a dog so that I could find that much joy and excitement from something as simple as the snow.

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As I headed back to the house to begin the work of the day, I stopped and took a few deep breaths and enjoyed the sounds of morning.  I silently said my ‘thank you’ for the gift and took one last look into the field.  Even now, looking out the window as I write these words, the trees are already bare.  I am still thankful for my beautiful Valentine gift, no matter how short-lived.  I want to carry that over in to the rest of my life—being thankful for ‘gifts’, even if they are only in my life for a short time.

HAPPY VALENTINE”S DAY!!!

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A wonderful Christmas Morning on the Appalachian Trail

A wonderful Christmas Morning on the Appalachian Trail

Over the years I’ve had many different kinds of Christmas mornings and have enjoyed all of them as I passed through various stages of life. My early years as a little girl were spent opening gifts followed by other family events.  As a young adult there were several years when Christmas morning consisted of just me and my husband opening our gifts. As our family grew there were many years of children excitedly opening  gifts followed by a big Christmas breakfast.  Those Christmas Days were exciting and will always be wonderful memories that I will treasure.

This morning, however, was a bit more peaceful than many of the Christmas mornings I’ve experienced in my 50 years.   I am now in the “Empty Nest” phase and there are certain advantages that come with that.  The fact that my children spent Christmas morning with their other ‘families’ gave me the opportunity to do one of my favorite things—-go for a hike on the Appalachian Trail.  While I am extremely thankful for the time I was able to be with my children and granddaughter later in the day, I did enjoy being able to spend the morning walking through the woods.

This morning’s  hike was especially enjoyable because here in South-Central PA, we were blessed with a Christmas Eve snowfall which gave us a glorious ‘White Christmas’ morning.  With a fresh layer of snow carpeting the trail, hiking on the A.T. was truly an amazing experience.  Being out in the woods as the sun rose over the top of the mountain was a very special treat on this holiday morning.  The silence and the beauty were the best gift I could have been given.  My husband and my dog seemed to have a pretty good time also.

I am thankful for many things this Christmas and I hope that you were also able to enjoy a special Christmas morning regardless of what stage of life you are in right now.

Walking through a snowy meadow.

Walking through a snowy meadow.

The AT with a fresh layer of snow.

The AT with a fresh layer of snow.

The 2 'men' who were my hiking companions.

The 2 ‘men’ who were my hiking companions.
(Don & Denver)

A white "blaze" that marks the Appalachian Trail

A white “blaze” that marks the Appalachian Trail

A very happy 'me' on Christmas morning.

A very happy ‘me’ on Christmas morning.

 

 

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The First Snowfall
Peace on a Snow-covered Path

Peace on a Snow-covered Path

I thoroughly enjoy seeing the first snowflakes of the winter season just as I enjoy other ‘firsts’ of each season….the first daffodil in spring, the first day it’s warm enough for shorts in the summer and the first leaves that change color in the fall.  I’m very thankful that I live in a place that has seasonal changes.  Being self-employed gives me flexibility in my schedule and the opportunity to take advantage of the gifts that comes with each season.

The beginning of winter brings on cozy things like lighting the fireplace, burning candles and digging out the warm, fuzzy slippers.  The lower temperatures of winter also mean that it’s time to bring out the winter coats, hats,  mittens and yes, even the snow boots.    The cold temperatures definitely limit the time I’m able to be out on my bicycle, but as long as it’s above 40 and there is no snow on the ground, I am still able to bundle up and enjoy occasional rides.  When the weather doesn’t allow for bicycling, I can always dig out my hiking gear and head out to the Appalchian Trail for a beautiful, wintry walk in the woods.  When I can’t be out in nature I can be doing something else I enjoy—sitting at my workbench creating some new piece of jewelry and enjoying a nice, hot cup of coffee.

We had our first snowfall a few days ago here in Central PA and as  I sat at my workbench and watched the snow coming down, I decided to take a break so that  my Golden Retriever, Denver, and I could enjoy all that the snow could offer.  I bundled up in all of my winter ‘duds’ and headed out my back door for a walk in the field behind our neighborhood.  Several neighbors keep a path mowed through the tall weeds and trees and it is a perfect place to enjoy a walk in the freshly fallen snow.

Denver, of course, went completely wild, running as fast as he could through the un-marked snow.  I, on the other hand, got partway through the field and just stood still.  There is something so peaceful and calming about being outside while it is still snowing.  As millions of tiny snowflakes begin to lay a white carpet over everything there is a sense of tranquility that comes with that.  This particular morning it was so quiet and still that I could actually hear the snow as it gently landed all around me.  I even allowed myself to be a bit like a child for a bit and turned my face upward and opened my mouth, allowing the snowflakes to land on my tongue.  (yes, hoping that the neighbors were not looking out their windows.:) )

Denver and I were alone in the field and it felt like time almost stood still.  I’ve always found hiking somewhat therapeutic and a time when I can sort through things in my mind, but it is even more helpful when it is snowing.  Taking step after step along the snowy path in the silence of the morning was so refreshing that I almost wished I could go on like that forever.  Being out in that silent solitude can help me to put other things in my life in perspective and can make the other more complicated aspects of my life not seem quite as overwhelming. Unfortunately, after a while, the cold began to seep through all of my winter clothing and I finally had to head in for a hot cup of  tea to thaw out.

As I said in my last post, I am hoping to be more purposeful in how I spend my time and energies.  I hope to take advantage of other opportunities to enjoy many different things that may present themselves in my life.  That day it was stopping the work of the day long enough to do something that is truly good for my soul.  It is my hope that doing things like that will help me to become more ‘present’ and to become more thankful for things that I have a tendency to take for granted……like the beauty of nature.

As I sat back down at my workbench after the walk, I did have a more peaceful and positive feeling.  If only there was a way to bottle that feeling……….or better yet, make a piece of jewelry that could somehow impart those feelings to the person wearing it.  Hmmmmmmmm……….I wonder what that would look like. 🙂

Denver enjoying the snow.

Denver enjoying the snow.

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