Reason number 86 of why I love winter.
During the months when walking the trails on our property can be done with a light jacket, a sweatshirt or a t-shirt (braving the mosquitoes and insects that swoop down as soon as you enter the shelter of the woods ...) you are left to wonder what bird or animal has gone before you. Unless you happen upon them or they leave a track or scat ... you can only speculate.
If you enjoy upland bird hunting in northern Wisconsin, you look forward to those mornings when the scent of grouse and woodcock is carried on the cool crisp air to your favorite hunting companion. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it is a thing of beauty to watch a cocker working the cover, gathering in the scent of all the creatures, searching for The One that will lead him/her to the ultimate goal.
Head out to those same trails when they are snow covered and you will see what is hidden from your view during the warm and green time of the year that everyone seems to yearn for. The meandering tracks of a mouse, the purposeful track of a deer, the imprint in the snow of a Ruffed Grouse landing in the snow ... it's as if nature is rewarding you for venturing out in the cold by sharing some of her secrets.
It's the reason I chose frost as my creative moment of the day: water vapor, invisible under any other circumstances until the temperature reaches that certain number and as if by magic, crystal one-of-a-kind shapes appear and cling together. Magic. Even in a bird bath.
"Magic In A Bird Bath." Digital image. January 21, 2013. Original photograph privately held by
Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2013.