The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

First Snow

Friday, November 26th, 2004 in Illinois
First Snow

First last night: it snowed. Thick heavy snow, the kind that muffles sounds and makes you feel cozy and warm inside despite dropping temperatures and frosty crystals floating outside in downward spirals and mad swarms. I had no food in the house so I ordered a pizza. I was sure to tip the delivery guy well since he had to drive in the mucky horrible mess of traffic that lined the roads.

Then this morning: Thanksgiving. Woke up to a jewel of a morning with white icing lawns and sugary branches that drooped low, kissing the ground, occasionally dropping their load of heavy wet snow. Kerflumph. Went for a walk with a friend. As I returned, lungs electric with icy fresh air, I glanced at my wildflowers in my front garden, I should have cut them back weeks ago—if only I were an attentive gardener. Instead they dazzle me now, having caught layers of snowflakes on their dwindling petals. They have new life, they are now fine, white silk strands, sculpted meticulously into a stiff, intricate brocade.

Late afternoon: Had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Ate quite a lot and am astonished that already I feel hungry again. Good thing the food is all at my parents and I can’t just go to the kitchen and graze all evening.

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Assortment

Independence Grove
Independence Grove
The days are getting indisputably shorter. It’s a race to finish work and get outside before the sun starts to set and the trails go dim. Today, I missed my window of opportunity for getting in a decent bike ride before sunset.
Devil’s Garden
Devil's Garden
By the time we reached Devil’s Garden we were pretty much exhausted. We wondered if we had the energy for another hike. We inspected the map to determine what was out there.
Viceroy
Viceroy