The morning dawned quietly. There was little wind and the air was unusually warm for mid-winter. But we’ve been enjoying the ubiquitous January thaw the past few days – temps have climbed into the 30’s and even 40’s, people walk around without their coats, and melting and dripping are common sounds. We were out for a drive, rounded a corner, and this lovely lake outlet was open water. The mallard ducks were startled by our sounds and they quickly took flight. But the stillness of winter was evident in the reflection of the trees in the water and the large piece of ice that hadn’t given up to the warmth just yet.
Temps in the 40’s? That certainly means an early thaw in Minnesota, along with dreams and wishes for an early spring. I took advantage of the sunshine to take a walk around Como Lake. Along with many like-minded people who were soaking up this bit of warmth, the walking path and bike trail around the lake had everyone dodging puddles. The lake was open near the northern shoreline, allowing the ducks to come and go. In another area the ice held standing water to offer a second reflection of the winter trees. We know winter is not over, and there will most likely be more snowfalls, but for this day it was a welcome glimpse of spring to come.
With moderating temperatures, we headed out for some snowshoeing last night. North of the Cities is a small Isanti County Park called Wayside Prairie County Park. We pulled into the parking lot an hour or so before sunset with the hopes of exploring this small park. We traipsed across the frozen lake, following snowmobile tracks, to the southern shoreline. This lovely little cabin was perched on the hillside, overlooking the frozen lake to the west. With its tiki torches still attached to the dock supports and the yellow lawn chair overturned at the end of the dock, it looked like the party had ended right before the start of winter. As we gazed at the sunset reflection in the window of the cabin, it was fun to dream of what this little lake is like in the middle of a warm summer, after the spring melt. We toasted the summer to come, then turned around and snowshoed back across the lake, remembering that winter will loosen its hold on us eventually.