Predictably, Mother Nature is punishing me this week for my meteorological over-confidence. To begin with, it is exceptionally cold, necessitating even the wearing of face protection. While a balaclava may protect your skin from freezing, it also generates up-gusts of hot humid breath which frost sunglasses and render one blind. This weekend we had to turn around quite quickly because Jon judged that I had walked full blast into my full winter quota of trees in about ten minutes. The next day we tried the river valley. There are high cliffs on both sides and it always feels remote and wild - a good thing in better weather. However, walking conditions that day alternated between open water, sheer ice, slush under snow, and thin snow crusts above knee-deep drifts; my yells of surprise each time I crashed through the crust yet again prompted My Beloved to ask me to keep it down. Apparently his zen contemplation was being violated.
I only cried once. Later, in my utter joy at having survived, I might have given our back door a tiny kiss. I know what you are thinking and simply ask you to remember that we all can't be troopers all of the time. On the plus side, I did take some nice digitals in the valley of the shadow, as well as some good ones today. May wait until my stone studio warms up a bit before painting them, however. And while it was just as cold today, the glorious sunshine distracted me from my frozen bits and for a moment I caught myself thinking, "I LOVE winter!"