Monday, December 28, 2009
Welcome Back, Winter
Yesterday, it was 50 degrees. Tomorrow's supposed to be zero. And today I woke to the world all covered with snow. What perfect timing, since at last I am free to enjoy my dear outdoors to my heart's content, with all my holiday obligations and celebrations over and done. Not that I don't enjoy the holidays. It's just that all those events take place indoors, and many require me to dress like a lady in kind of uncomfortable clothes, so I was really itching to put on my longjohns and snowboots and get outside. Especially on such a spectacular day, with a brisk wind lifting the snow from branches and filling the sunlit air with spangles. Here's the road to Moreau Lake State Park.
And here's the lake, completely iced over and covered with snow. I checked with park staffers, who told me the ice was now thick enough to be safe to walk on, so off I went to walk around the lake. I didn't expect to see many animal tracks yet, since most critters hunker down when it snows and don't come out for a day or more. Today I just planned on breathing the sweet cold air and enjoying the contrast of brilliant white snow against a mostly blue sky.
Well, that sky didn't stay blue for long, as clouds moved in from the west, bringing even stiffer winds and gusts of blowing snow.
Before long, the very air was white, as the snow came thick and fast.
I pulled up the hood on my coat to keep the snow off the back of my neck, wound my scarf tighter to keep the icy wind out of my ears, and just kept walking along on the snow-covered ice. It turned out that hood and scarf protected my head against more than the cold. For all of a sudden, whoooops! and SLAM! My feet flew out and down I went, hard, landing first on my back, then my head slamming down with a big thunk on the ice. I didn't pass out, but I did "see stars" -- and they weren't just blowing snowflakes. I lay there for quite some time, dazed and hoping I hadn't fractured my skull, since my head was hurting bad where it hit the ice. But after a while I slowly, slowly sat up. I didn't throw up or pass out, so I figured I would live, got up and made my way back to my car, walking this time on the beach instead of the ice. I did check with a doctor, who said I would be OK, no fracture or internal bleeding that he could tell. Whew! My lucky day.