Wisconsin


Spring arrived quickly in the past week.  There were hints of green showing up in the trees and the grass.  The ice moved off the lake and the open water was an invitation for geese, ducks, loons, eagles, and the people wanting to fish.  It was a flurry of activity all generated by the unofficial end of winter.  By early evening it was quiet and peaceful again.  A light rain shower had moved through the area, the sun was beginning to set, and the lake had calmed.  And as if to punctuate the end of a delightful spring day, a rainbow appeared in the sky and was reflected in the still of the water below.

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The cusps of seasons and days can often hold tension and beauty.  We woke to the sound of thunder as a storm was starting to roll through, yet the eastern horizon held a hint of color.  As the rain started to come down, I could see the droplets hitting the open water.  Further out on the lake was the edge of the black ice that was starting to go out, and on the opposite shore was the white ice and snow that hadn’t thinned yet.  It was a wonderful experience – both visual and auditory.  The loons are back in the area, and  the geese, ducks, and swans were all contributing to the soundtrack.

In my own life there is a change too, as I retired from my corporate job and am transitioning to the adventures I’ve been looking forward to all these years.  I began this blog in January of 2009 with the purpose of sharing the beauty of my world and to give me the incentive to photograph each week.  And what an amazing journey it has been — so many sights, so many surprises, and so much to see!  My plan is to continue this blog however my posts may not be quite as consistent in timing.  I hope you will continue along with me and share in my upcoming adventures.

 

We are seeing the start of our spring thaw.  Warmer temps and bright sunshine have had a significant impact on our snow pack.  Slowly we are seeing brown lawns reappear and some garden beds have small green shoots near the ground.  The lakes have a much longer way to go before they are clear of ice.  Gradually the ice near the shoreline goes out, but still the lake has a good 12 inches of ice.  The snow on the surface has become mushy and uneven, and eventually will melt completely.  The silence of winter is also giving way to the sounds of spring.  When I walked out onto the lake I could actually hear the snow melting, and high overhead the Canada geese, the ducks, the swans, and the sandhill cranes were all calling and honking.

The dawn was cold and crisp.  Although the temperatures have been above freezing during the day, they still dip into the teens and twenties at night.  The multiple inches of snow on the lake have melted and frozen many days in a row, and what snow remains is only an inch or two deep on the lake.  The sunrise was an explosion of color greeting the day, and some of those brights were reflected in a portion of snow-free ice on the lake.  I am always energized after sharing in the beauty of a dawn like this.

It was sunny and warm yesterday – perfect conditions for snowshoeing.  We headed off into the woods without a specific destination but rather to explore.  The snow was still deep where is was sheltered from the full sunlight making our snowshoes a definite requirement for any navigation.  There were numerous deer trails and turkey tracks throughout the woods.  After awhile we came upon a small clearing that was more open to the sunlight.  The shadows fell strong upon the snow, in undulating lines and patterns —  a dynamic statement of the beauty of winter.

This morning was cold and windy.  The sky was cloudy and the air was filled with fine sleet and tiny snow.  Winter still has its grip, and we were on a drive exploring.  The forests can be thick or thinned.  In this one area was a wonderful stand of birch and aspen, with a few small oaks in their midst.  The colors and contrasts caught my eye –  white on white, gray on white, and brown and white.  Certainly a limited color palate, but beautiful in its starkness.

The dawn was cloudy and gray this morning.  After the first light the snow started to fall; small and delicate, the flakes floated slowly to the ground.  There wasn’t much wind, so their gracefulness was beautiful.  Within a few hours the snow stopped and the clouds cleared.  This was a direct contrast to the snowfall we had earlier in the week.  With winds up to 40 mph and snow falling at over an inch per hour, those blizzard conditions were anything but quiet and peaceful.  That snowfall accumulated to 10 inches; today’s was a light dusting.

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