After all the cold weather in December and early January, people were beginning to expect a very cold winter. And don't get me wrong, it's not too late for that, by any means! But lately, we've been enjoying almost spring-like temperatures in the 30's and even 40's. Our snow is almost melted, which could actually be a very bad thing if the temperature suddenly plummets again. A thick layer of snow is what protects all the plants from tragic and early demises each winter.
Besides, snow is kind of critical for skiing and sledding.
But if you can't have sledding and skiing, at least there's some great hiking around here. Saturday was a beautiful day with temperatures warm in the 20's and 30's. There was a bit of a wind so I had to bundle up, but otherwise I could almost have gone without my jacket.
I took both dogs with me for the company---and to protect me from any rabid pheasants I might run across. Cooper is loving all the wide open spaces.
I only walked about 4 miles, but I think the dogs ran about 5 times that. They would plop down in the snow and take snow baths when they got too hot.
It was so pretty and peaceful. It's actually kind of hard not to be peaceful when there's not another soul for miles.
I hiked through several different types of fields on my walk. First there was a whole field of bare dirt, plowed under by the farmers in the fall in preparation for spring planting. Then there was the wild, uncultivated parts that farmers are subsidized to leave undeveloped. That might be great for the wildlife, but they are considerably less fun for humans to traipse through. The nice, smooth-shorn slopes of the alfalfa fields were a delight and I heartily recommend them. Wheat stubble looks easy to walk through, but by the end of a 3 hour hike those little trenches filled with snow are a lot more challenging than they appear!
It was such a treat to get outside again. Winter can get to feeling a little claustrophobic at times...I'm grateful for good health and a functional body that allows me to get outside and enjoy myself. Even if I do have to come home and take a nap afterward!