In the bracing cold of winter, we Minnesotans can not be said to shy away from outdoor activities! And yet Mother Nature has played a cruel trick on us here in the Twin Cities this year. In what is traditionally the coldest time of the season we have had temperatures above freezing, and rain…requiring some adjustments on our activities. This was the weekend of the US Pond Hockey tournament on Lake Nokomis. Unfortunately the rinks were covered with 2 to 3 inches of water, making a puck useless, and postponing the presentation of the Golden Shovel award to a later date. This was also the beginning of our Winter Carnival in Saint Paul — an annual celebration of the enjoyment of our white season. The Vulcans were out en force, celebrating in their raucous tradition, and getting ready for their overthrow of King Boreas in the upcoming week. And there was a sleigh and cutter rally at Lake Phalen, where the horses and ponies were tromping through slush and standing water, rather than gliding along over inches and feet of snow. But we know that winter is not done yet. There are predictions of colder temps returning again. In the meantime, we’ll promise to enjoy the winter, adjust to Mother Nature’s schedule, and revel in whatever is doled out to us.