We are experiencing our transition season as winter slowly gives way to spring. In northern Minnesota and Wisconsin it means give and take – warmer temps one day and snow the next. But our waters are starting to thaw, allowing open water for the birds that are beginning to migrate into the area. The oak trees are holding onto their rust-colored leaves, and the air has been heavy with moisture creating some foggy conditions. It almost seems like fall but this time we know there will be green in the landscape and ice-free lakes and ponds soon.
The temperature dropped and winter came back to Minnesota during the past mid-week. The blue skies and hope of spring were delayed and side tracked by a fast-moving front that dropped snow and brought back winter’s cold winds. The gray sky that accompanied this snow seemed gloomier than usual, perhaps because of the desire for spring. But as I wandered the hills, listening to the rattling of the oak leaves in the wind, I saw a brief opening in the clouds – just long enough for a shaft of light to come through and give hope again for an eventual departure of winter.
The fluffy, powdery snow started falling Friday afternoon and continued throughout the night. By the time I got up on Saturday morning, we had about seven inches of fluffy, white snow covering the ground and trees. With no wind, it was beautiful! I headed over to one of the nearby golf courses. What I found was a beautiful study in the textures and lines of winter. The branches of the old oak trees were outlined in white. Their rugged bark was dusted with snow in places, and was a sharp contrast to the smoothness of the snow on the ground. And the side light from the sun was adding its own lines and shadows as it cut over the snow at an angle, sometimes creating a bright sparkle as it caught a crystal of ice just right. What seemed like a simple, nondescript scene became one of interest and beauty, and I found myself marveling at all the little nuances that were there before me.