Winter’s sunset at the Cannon River

Our weather has remained cold this past week with temperatures hovering around zero at night.  With this extended cold snap all the lakes within the Cities are frozen over.  Until a snowshoe hike yesterday, it has been awhile since we’ve seen any open water.    We ventured to the far southern edge of Dakota County, Minnesota to the Miesville Ravine Park Reserve.  Way off the beaten path, and down a winding gravel road, we had the park all to ourselves on this late afternoon.  The crunch of our snowshoes broke the silence of the cold air.  The trail followed alongside a small creek which accompanied us with its sound of tumbling water.  There were a few bird calls and one squirrel that was racing across the snowy landscape, but otherwise we were alone as the sun was beginning to move low on the horizon.  We crossed the road to where the creek joined into the Cannon River and were surprised to see bits and pieces of ice floating in the water, sometimes gathering along the shore and becoming more dense.  The sun was shining on the hillside opposite of the ravine causing the barren trees to take on a golden reddish hue.  Their warm tone was a beautiful contrast to the white of the snow and the ice on the ground.