Yesterday morning it snowed, the first snowfall of the year. The temperatures plunged below zero, and in one night some trees dropped all their leaves in a panicked attempt to keep up with the temperature change. It was amazing to see the blankets of green leaves covering the grass and snow and gathering in the street. My planned trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum took on a new twist, as I had to gear up for winter hiking, but I got some nice shots of fall of color with a bit of snow on it.
It was my first trip to the arboretum, so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was a lot of fun tromping though the trails, making first tracks on the first snow of the season, photographing flowers and trees with little snow caps and catching droplets of snowmelt in the sunlight. We saw little waterfalls, quick-moving streams and even quicker-moving wild turkeys (maybe the snow made them think it was November). We got a little lost, but it was nice to just explore without having to worry about direction. We went where the interesting photos were and it worked out just fine.
It seems wild to me that only a few weeks ago I was eating at Lucia’s outside patio in a tank and shorts. Yesterday’s snow had melted by lunchtime, but we got some light flurries today, and tomorrow we’re expected to get up to a few inches of accumulation, so it looks like winter is here. For me, I’ve got a log burning in the fireplace and a whole chicken roasting in the oven. Winter, bring it on.
Here in Minnesota there is a huge cycling population and many of these cyclists continue to ride during the winter months, using their bikes as their primary form of transportation. We have nothing on Copenhagen though, that’s some serious bike culture!
Mikael Colville-Andersen is a freelance filmmaker and photographer and has two fantastic sites on Copenhagen cycling culture: Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic. I’ve really enjoyed the great photography at Copenhagen Cycle Chic; Copenhagenize is a new find for me and I love it already. These sites make me want to go to ditch my car and ride my bike everywhere, even when the roads are covered in snow.
It started snowing around 8 am this morning and it’s still coming down – we’ve got about 4 inches so far. But soon the snow will stop and with the clear skies will come the cold temperatures. By cold I mean that the highs for the next few days MIGHT make it over 0 by a few degrees at the most, and the lows will be in the -15 ballpark. Tonight we’re expecting wind chills that will make it feel like -25, and just as the sun went down I could see the wind picking up and the freshly fallen snow swirling back up into the trees.
So tonight I’m thankful for a warm apartment with working electricity and lots to keep me busy. I’m glad to have a hot meal to eat, and a wonderful husband and two toasty furballs to keep the bed warm tonight. I’m happy to have friends, family and hot tea. In trying economic times like these, where I’ve gotten only a few job leads in the past few months with no prospects on the horizon and hear doomsday predictions each time I turn on the news, it can be hard to remember that I really have it pretty good.
This evening we’re getting our first big snowfall of the winter season. We’ve gotten a few inches already, and should be getting a few more before the morning. Lake Calhoun is almost completely frozen, although I wouldn’t attempt to walk across it just yet. It’s shaping up to be a very nice, white, frozen December and should be very pretty for Christmas this year.
We had a rare warm day today, so Jim, Cooper and I headed out to Lake Calhoun to enjoy the snow and watch the kite skiers. I was amazed at the way the snow had formed into dunes in some places, and barren ice terrain in others. It felt otherworldly, as if walking on the moon, or at least what I think walking on the moon might feel like. Cooper had a blast running over the dunes, and sometimes into the dunes. We took a few pictures, played a bit in the snow and then headed home.