Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Newport News Park (2/17/2015)

So here I write a blog post on the 27th of January about my experience with snow as a kid, and while I did not really meant to complain, nature had a different understanding and dished out some snow this week.  Just to get even with me complaining; nature has a way to get back at you.  On top of that it is supposed to get really cold.

The photo above is actually from one of the Grafton Ponds out back.  The ponds were mostly frozen over before the snow hit.  However there were enough holes in the ice and the weight of the snow (5 to 6 inches or 12 to 15 cm) was heavy enough to force pond water to intermingle with the snow and turn is yellowish.  This is a good thing, at least you can see where the ice is, because I'm sure that the ice was not hard enough when the snow started falling.  So no wienie roasting on the ice as I did as a kid in Canada.

It was beautiful though, the white world and the sun after a day old cold and cloudy.  I'm also thankful that the boss (or the Governor I guess) gave us an extra day off to dig out and to enjoy the snow.  For me it is a great chance to explore great out doors and nature.

I guess we are slightly different, we get of the beaten path and we "bushwhack."  Knee deep beagle snow was a bit too much for our small (12 year/old) beagle, but she was a trouper.  Like us she enjoys it a lot and that's what counts.  Both dog were smelling every hoof print that all the deer left in the ice, which was hilarious to watch.  Quality of life, enjoying the outdoors, getting in touch with nature and living in the moment are all very important.  And living in the moment we did; there is always something fun and new around every corner. 

Here we are walking away from the edge of a pond, through a wetland; hence the sedges. To the right you can see an area with some recent tree fall (recent being probably caused by hurricane Isabel 12 years ago).  The gap in the forest is now starting to fill in with some small loblolly pine saplings.  The natural succession as we see here is a good thing.  Generally after logging you have a very even aged forest, and it is the occasional tree fall that makes a forest more dynamic and diverse.  Now if we could control the deer, we would even have more diversity, especially in the understory.  Looking back this is what we saw:

Sitting behind my desk and behind my computer, I already miss being outside in nature, and experiencing this beauty.  The virgin snow covers all imperfections and even the litter you sometimes find in these far flung places.  The innocence of this landscape under a white blanket is amazing to me.  It is so peaceful and fun.  This was also evidenced yesterday by this little winter wren which was darting from trunk to trunk over the ice, pecking the bark for bugs and other food items.  The diminutive bird did not care about us and our dogs.  It came close to us and for a while just stood there on the ice and watched us. I generally find them very secretive, but this little guy had no worry in the world and was having fun on the ice.  A fun peaceful place to spend an afternoon.

(this post is part of my contribution to Cee's Fun Photo Challenge)


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