After Christmas Hike 2010

Evergreens and icicles, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Winter is terrible and beautiful. Today I went for a walk at Afton Prairie Park. The sun was warm as it shone low in the sky. After all, it was 4:00 pm and almost time for the sun to set. A few other people were there, but luckily for me we were on opposite ends of the preserve.

Grace ran like a wild dog racing up and down the snow on paths made by snow skiers. She barked at the snow clumps then bit them and threw them high into the air, catching them as they came down. I noticed Gracie's fur was indirectly reflecting a golden hue onto the snow as she ran.

Wild dog

It was so good to get outside and walk on this gloriously bright day. The shadows were painted with beautiful blues and violets and the prairie grass was a brilliant ochre. While walking I found a single, tiny crimson feather and wondered if it belonged to a cardinal.


Amazing views and small details were all around me.

abandoned bridge fir wind break


Frozen CreekIcicles

bridge framed

Prairie in winterShadow

The ride home brought to the forefront the starkness of winter in Illinois. Flat fields become simmering diamonds reflecting the sun unchanging all the way to the horizon.

vast emptiness that is Illinois

tiny-tinymouse tracks Sparkling Snow

Now that we are back at home, all warm, Gracie is sleeping -kicking her legs as she dreams. Dinner was red pepper, green onion and flank steak stir fry in a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar and garlic. I also made hummus with tahini for a snack later in the evening. Back to work tomorrow...

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