Depending on the time of the year, that temperature means different things in the North.
With temperatures being beautifully warm for January as of late, we opted to take our dog to the beach on Saturday. Not to take a dip in the lake, like I did last week, but to get out and take a long walk to enjoy this beautiful weather.
After some colder-than-usual temps earlier in the season, Mother Nature saw fit to tease us with a brief, unseasonably warm streak in January. This month typically has the coldest temps of the winter. They often times dip down to -20F and so we knew that the time is short, to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The bitter cold and snow are inevitable this time of year.
We headed out to Harrington Beach State Park and many others had the same idea. There was no need for winter jackets, hats or gloves.
We only needed warm flannels and hiking boots for walking in the slush from the melting snow. The air was absolutely refreshing, and other hikers were happy and friendly, interacting jovially with us as we walked together along the trails.
First we walked to the beach, where someone saw fit to decorate several picnic tables with little mini-snowmen, accessorized with sticks and grasses. They made me smile, and several other hikers stopped to admire them as well. Sometimes a simple activity such as this, shared with the world, makes it a better place.
After walking along the beach for a while, we decided to walk around the old early-1900s quarry located within the park, which was covered with ice and the warm sun shone opaquely on its snow-covered surface.
As we headed deeper into the woods, we kept our eyes open for wildlife and we were not disappointed. We saw three deer, nearly undetectable if you don’t know what to look for. My husband, who is an avid hunter, pointed out that when searching the woods for deer, it is easier to search for the horizontal lines of the back of the deer, rather than the vertical lines of the legs and head, which tend to blend in with the trees and grasses. So, I learned something new and interesting on this hike.
Our old dog was tired, but happy, having enjoyed the long walk, new smells, and the pats from children and other hikers. The wagging tails of other dogs along the trail verified that they were just as happy as we were.
This weekend, nature became our “temp agency” providing us with some much-needed help from the burden of the cold. It felt good to have the teaser of soothing warm air, offering with it the hopes and dreams of spring, deep in the midst of winter.
Even though we still have a long way to go, these small glimpses remind us that the short days, bitter winds, and bone-chilling cold – be it in winter or in life – eventually give way to long, sunny, warm days if we are patient.