Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh Happy Snowy Day!

Why is this woman smiling? Well, just look at the snow all over her head. Is that not the most perfect snow imaginable? Soft and light and fluffy and dry, each flake like a tiny star (Click on the photo to see them better). That's the way it came down today, thick and fast, and I just had to get out and delight in it. Yes, that's me in the photo.

Since I got a late start (and the roads were pretty iffy), I chose a place close to my home: the Bog Meadow Nature Trail just east of Saratoga Springs. By now, all the marshes along the trail are solidly frozen, so I could walk places I can't in the summer. Like this pond that is ringed with Phragmites, each tuft bonneted with soft snow.

I visit this trail often in spring, summer, and fall, keeping a record of all the flowers I find here. This time of year, it's fun to try to recognize my old friends after they've gone to seed and are covered with snow. I found Meadowsweet, Blue Vervain, Indian Pipe, Swamp Thistle, Swamp Milkweed, many, many others. But I just could not place this fluffy tuft on straight sturdy stems, and I did not want to take it apart to analyze it, since it looked so pretty capped with downy snow. Update 1/31: I'll bet this plant is Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana).

Lichens always look the same, winter or summer, and I certainly recognized the large green one in the middle of this photo as Common Greenshield (Flavoparmelia caperata). But what about the silvery, leafy lichens all around it? Are they just a variation of Greenshield, or something entirely different? I couldn't find any exact look-alikes in my lichen book. The closest was maybe Bottlebrush Shield Lichen (Parmelia squarrosa). Any other opinions?

Hey look, here's another woman smiling! And why shouldn't she? Just look at all that lovely snow around her. And see how pretty her red jacket looks against all that white.

There were actually quite a few folks on the trail today, every one of then looking as happy as happy can be. Because THIS is what winter should BE like. I just hope it stays this way for a while, at least until the tracking workshop I'm planning to go to next weekend.


Jennifer said...

Here's a question from another smiling winterwoman: why am i not reading your blog daily? It's beautiful and we truly are kindred spirits - at least where winter is concerned!!

Holly said...

I love that first pic of you peering over the edge of the photo!

suep said...

Great photo of YOU all happy & snowy -!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks for your kind words, Jennifer. I know we share a love for winter, since your blog appears automatically in my Google reader so I don't miss a post.

Hello, hello, Woodswoman! I think your photo of your peering dog inspired me to frame my shot that way. Actually, I just held the camera at arm's length and fired away, hoping I'd get something in the frame.

Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by. You know what it means to be happy and snowy, don't you? Even though some folks might find that a contradiction.
But not us.

Bird said...

Oh, happy snowy day! Our snow is not quite as thick and beautiful as yours, but as you say, it's how winter should be.