Ice Crystals

This time of year, everything focuses on snow, ice, cold, sunshine - a mixture of winter weathers which create a beautiful, although at times challenging, combination. Of course, because we are living up close to nature, we often see things we would probably otherwise miss.

The wolf tracks from last week, for example. Since writing that post I have had the privilege of running across the tracks of at least two more wolves. There seem to be a LOT of wolves passing through our area. It makes me think there must be some elk around - if not, the fox are unlikely to hold out too well.

Wolf tracks aren't the only things which brings delight to my days. I can usually count on 'something' each time I go out. We have been cold here lately. My morning ski excursion have usually been done in 5 - 10 degrees below zero. While this makes for chilly cheeks and fingers (at the start), it also makes for incredibly beautiful sites.

A few days ago it was the ice crystals in the air. As the sun beams shown through the crystals, the air glittered, floated, and fluttered like it was alive. Amazing!

Today I took a different route - across the lake and up Limestone Creek a little way. It was a beautiful ski. Pristine snow. A few tracks here and there. And ice crystals. The most AMAZING ice crystals.

(No, I did NOT have my camera. I went back later this evening but the weather has warmed - so it can cool off again - and the ice had dropped. Boo Hoo! That ought to teach me!)

I'm still pondering, several hours later, how water and air and sunshine can mix to create something so delicate and so beautiful. Every exposed blade of grass. Every sagebrush branch. Every evergreen. Even the cow parsnip - or maybe I should say, especially the cow parsnip. Or, maybe, it should be, especially the spiny gooseberry branches!

Amazing! While I've seen (and enjoyed) hoar frost, this is different. We have only had one day of fog - apparently enough to get the process started. Since then it has not topped 20 degrees (discounting today which reached 30). Every night has been around 10 below. The days have been sunny.

Somehow the combination of the original hoar frost and the weather which followed had created something incredibly beautiful and unique. Quite unlike anything I have ever seen.

I hope, wherever you are, you are taking time to get out and enjoy the world around you. While I cannot imagine enjoying anyplace as much as I do Elk Lake, it is usually the little things which take our breath away. Go enjoy yours!

Lady of the Lake

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