Winter Walks

And all about him was the wind now, a pervasive sighing through great emptiness, as though the prairie itself was breathing in long gusting breaths, unhampered by the buildings of town…

W.O. Mitchell, Who Has Seen The Wind

As I write this, it’s -26 degrees Celsius outdoors with the prairie wind giving us a chill factor in the high -30s. One of the town’s regular walkers passed by earlier, heading backwards down the street to protect his face from the wind and a case of frostbite. Today, I’m thankful my only outdoor task will be to top up the bird feeders, but I also appreciate how rewarding a winter walk can be: weasel, fox, and deer tracks, bluejays screaming to each other, wind-carved shadows in the snow, rainbow-hued sun dogs, and recently, a morning hoar frost.

hoar frost, Cut Knife, SK
Hoar frost, Cut Knife, SK

Cold air prairie walks have a crisp edge to them, which for me seems to produce a clarity in thinking. So, while my brain is working on one thing, my senses are caught up in the sight and the sound and the feel of a beauty that makes every shivery, crunchy step completely worthwhile.

All photos, except where noted, copyright D. MacLeod. All rights reserved.

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