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December 3, 2010

happy december.  thanks for checking in.  i’m glad you’re here.

it has long been a habit for me to walk every day.  some days take more discipline than others to get me out the door, but once i am in motion i love maintaining a steady gait and covering a lot of ground.  it’s good time for thinking, mulling over new ideas, and even writing poetry in my head that later spills effortlessly onto the page.  for that reason i prefer to walk very early in the morning, avoiding traffic and other pedestrians.  this works well in mild or dry weather, but when winter arrives i sometimes find myself unable to navigate the icy streets and sidewalks early in the day.  fortunately in colorado we experience 300 days of sunshine per year, so even in winter there are days of balmy temperatures and by waiting until midday walking is not only possible but actually quite pleasant.

today was such a day.  despite temperatures earlier in the week down into the low teens, this afternoon the temperature soared to about 65 degrees F with filtered sunlight and NO wind.  lovely.  i plugged in the headphones to listen to a new music mix sent by a friend and set out for the st. vrain trail just blocks from my house.  the day was so beautiful, however, that i found myself stopping constantly to snap a photo or two all along the walk.  in the more barren landscape of winter details seemed to pop out at me and beg to be captured.  come along as i navigate my way out of the neighborhood and into open space.

it was the dried flowers that caught my eye here, and it wasn’t until after i took the picture that i noticed the crooked bird feeder and the hand-cut paper snowflakes taped inside the window.

love that.









once i got down to the fairgrounds lake it was the cattails that caught my eye.  earlier in the year the lush greenery obscured them, but now they stand out distinctly against the gray-blue of the water.

i noticed the salty deposits on a small stretch of beach alongside the lake, a downy white feather caught in the brambles next to the water,

the artistry of a spent milkweed pod and the beauty of dried flower stalks reaching upward to support perfectly preserved and freeze-dried blossoms,

tiny blossoms sprinkled through the grasses that looked like snowflakes and frozen roses with an austere beauty that became dark silhouettes when photographed against the sky.

walking back around roger’s grove the bare-branched winter trees stood in stark contrast to the very white clouds and the very blue sky.

heading home past isaac walton pond i noticed a perfect example of the fickle nature of winter weather in our region:  two canada geese stood on the icy rim surrounding a thawed section of water that perfectly reflected the trees in the background.

i feel very fortunate to live so close to open space, to be able to walk to bodies of water inhabited by beaver, fish, muskrats, and many varieties of water birds,.  i wish that everyone could have access to such carefully preserved wild patches of nature in their communities.  but truly, beauty is everywhere.  when almost home, at the bottom of my hill i snapped these rose hips hanging on long past the first freeze, and walking down my driveway i glanced into the neighbor’s yard and saw the afternoon sunlight illuminating dry grasses, turning them into glowing fronds dancing in the light.

sometimes it’s nice to slow my pace and appreciate the richness that surrounds me.  thanks for coming along this afternoon.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. mary kelly permalink
    December 10, 2010 7:12 pm

    Happy December, yourself! I’m now a “subscriber” to sassysistersink, and I got a notice when you posted. I’ve been sorting through my year of digital photos, a new November-December ritual since I started using our Pentax. I’ve finally got most of my photos (paper kind) and digital files in roughly chronological order. I feel slightly less overwhelmed. Getting something printed is my next move. Maybe a CD slide show of my year’s favorites? I’d love to see your poetry!

  2. wingedpaths permalink
    January 25, 2011 9:08 am

    I have to admit I’m slightly jealous. 300 days of sunshine a year… oh my. We had 300 days of overcast skies in 2010, and usually Eastern Washington is much more dry and sunny than the West side of the state. And I would love, love, love to live so close to such natural beauty. I get very claustrophobic in Spokane, which is really a rather awful place to live. I have to drive at least an hour out of town to get away from it, and that is often a difficult thing for me to do.

  3. February 1, 2011 2:41 pm

    I’d like to come visit.
    Is that ok with you?

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