Overlooking Lake Superior as it freezes

Overlooking Lake Superior as it freezes

It would be very easy to cheat with this assignment.  (here’s how, if you’ve decided to spend time outside every day and document it with photos and words.)   Drive around, looking for the perfect photo opportunity.  With crafty eyes, find something beautiful.  Leap out of your car with camera in hand.  Snap picture!  Scurry back to car.  Drive home carefully on the icy roads.  Upload picture, write blog depicting photo, and smile with satisfaction.  An outdoors experience!  Right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  In my book an Outdoors Experience has to be something where you deepen into nature.  You spend time walking, looking, watching.  You let the elements have their way with you.  You get cold (or, I suppose you get hot in the summertime…..only a dream for many months to come…..heat!) 

So today I had an appointment to get my hair cut in our little town.  It’s  a tiny wisp of a town bordering Lake Superior.  I thought it had 1,500 folks within the village boundaries, but my husband has corrected this estimate.  There’s 2,500 men, women and children.  We are not included in the village count, as we live twelve miles away. 

So I thought, “here’s an opportunity to spend some time in the outdoors of our little town.”  Everyone drives from store to store around here.  When we’ve visited larger cities we’ve always been amazed to see that people actually walk.  Here we motor from one end of town to the other.  But not today!  In the spirit of Outdoors, I decided to park the car at the IGA and hike across town.

The wind was blowing mightily.  The wind is always blowing.  It whipped off Lake Superior with ferocity.  It stung, it bit, it snarled.  Even though the bank thermomenter boasted a 21 degree temperature, it felt colder than cold.  It felt warmer the other day at 5 degrees (without wind). 

I headed down Main Street listening to the tinny Christmas carols blaring through the loudspeakers.  Oh, Nostalgia.  “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….”  Wreaths and holly and red ribbons decorated the poles along the street.  People smiled, holiday-warm and friendly.  (It’s the best time of year for friendliness, isn’t it?)

I headed down to the lake.  You see above a snapshot of a lone bench sitting in a deserted park overlooking the lake.  The bay is freezing!  My ice fishing husband will be grinning to discover that tidbit.  I slipped once on the icy side road, but stayed upright.  Then it was back towards Main Street.  Thoughts kept babbling sounding something like this, “it’s cold, it’s freezing, my fingers are numb, my feet are numb, it’s cold, it’s freezing, but man oh man it’s exhilarating!”

On the way back towards the IGA, I heard a lot of quacking nearby.  Oh my!  Please look at the photo below.  There were dozens of ducks lying in the snow.  They obviously weren’t freezing.  Or, if they were, you couldn’t tell.  They didn’t even run from the camera.  A few stretched and waddled, but most remained comfortably cuddled near a small river. 

Anyway, just wanted to tell you I’m not cheating.  This amounted to at least 30-45 minutes of walking.  Honest. 

Ducks in winter

Ducks in winter