April just cannot come fast enough this year. Maybe it is my age, but I seem to have far less patience with the cold temperatures. Yesterday we took the dogs for a walk and used the small creek that crosses our land; it was much smoother and easier on the feet than the trail and was still completely, utterly frozen. It was minus twelve so we had to bundle up with down jackets, mittens and hats with ear flaps...not exactly a fashion parade. The dogs loved it especially all the fresh scents; we kept exclaiming about all the tracks in the snow, perfectly intact, and tried our hand at identifying them. Many, many birds had crossed the creek, a raccoon or two, coyote, mice, but not a sign of a human.
This creek balloons in spring and becomes swampy in one area by summer's end. There it is a haven of frogs and tall ferns and the occasional gray heron can be sighted probing it's banks. It is tricky to walk there because the edges become so over grown and tangled with grass you can't tell where exactly the land ends. I've gone over my boots several times trying to get close with my camera. So at this time of year it is a bit of treat to be able to walk all over the area and get a good look especially at all the trees on the opposite bank as well. I had my eye out for apple trees since several grow on the house side of the creek.
I can amuse myself endlessly with these thoughts of nature; I am riveted by a bird sighting or a strange animal track in the snow. The idea of a whole realm of little living beings going about their business mere yards from the house is awe-inspiring to me. And so yet again, I feel thankful for this time and place far from office buildings, and traffic fumes, and malls, a niche where I can satisfy my inner nature nerd to my heart's content.