Winter colors after the snow 7D_0667_StaatsOur winter landscape has been blanketed in white since early December, and each week a bit more snow has been added to the ground.  I headed out for a snowshoe walk early yesterday morning at the golf course on the University of Minnesota Saint Paul campus.  The city was quiet for a Saturday morning — no commuter traffic, no snowplows clearing the roads yet, and most people were still in their beds.  As I got into the center of the golf course I realized that it really wasn’t as quiet as I had thought.  There were birds flitting from tree to tree chirping their greetings, and tracks in the snow where the squirrels had scampered from one area to another.  And then I noticed that the landscape wasn’t really quite so white.  Although the gray sky was reflecting in the snow cover, the oak trees still had their reddish-brown leaves clinging to the branches, some of the blonde grasses were blowing lightly in the breeze, and the pine trees were green with a coating of snow.  The landscape was a study of muted contrasts and  colors.

We ventured out today into the Minnesota winter wonderland.  Like much of the country, we’ve had our share of snow, and yet there’s a beauty and peacefulness to being out in nature at this time of year.  We snowshoed within the Hoglund Wildlife Management Area in Wright County.  The air was crisp, the snow was falling, the deer were running, and there was a stillness that settles after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday.  These are the times that I appreciate the beauty and power of winter.