Enjoy the Silence

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Solitude in the pines.

I went for a walk in my usual place. I have a lot of thinking to do, this is the best place to do it. I have a lot on my mind. Big stuff. Life stuff. Future stuff. Stuff stuff. I needed to get out and breathe and enjoy some solitude.

I arrived to find the parking lot by the trail head empty. My favorite way to find it.  There had been a recent snow fall.  There was evidence of a plow truck coming through and the county parks department that came earlier to unlock the front gate.

The sun was making an appearance. It was 18 degrees, but it didn’t feel that cold.  There was enough snow on the ground that I almost could have justified wearing my snow shoes. I didn’t bring them though. I’m starting to wonder, as January comes to a close, if we will have enough snow this year to  be able to get them out.

I know, be careful what you wish for.  The eastern United States is dealing with a snow storm that around here we just call “winter”. I’m certainly not downplaying the situation out east, we are just used to it here. I live near Lake Michigan and we experience the phenomenon of “lake effect snow“, where we will get a lot of snow dumped on us.

The systems can be pretty crazy. Sometimes you can actually see it ahead of you. You can actually see the outline of the snow on the wind as it’s blowing. Often, you can be stuck in the middle of a white out ( where you can see nothing) while two miles away, the sun is out and they don’t even know it’s snowing down the road.

Sadly, we don’t experience any sort of phenomenon of “lake effect sun”. That’s does not appear to exist. We actually experience more overcast days because of the lake. I love that lake though, don’t let me fool you. I am a huge fan of it and the sand dunes.

On my way to the park I passed a local in his little pick up truck. I know him because I met him on Instagram. He and I are the only people who regularly tag our locations for our photography. I don’t know his real name, but I can point him out in a line up.  He loves the park as much as I do and he runs the trails.  He was there. I recognized his footprints.

I ventured out. Since we were alone, I allowed Lu off the leash. It really doesn’t matter either way, she’s always behind me. It’s a cattle dog thing. Every now and then I instruct her to “go on” and she’ll run a hundred or so yards ahead of me, stop and turn around and run back. It’s always good to let them go and be a dog. Sniff around, dig in the snow a little, run, stalk a chipmunk.

We were spotted by two White Tail Deer who took off through the woods.  Lu and I watched from a distance as they jumped over the downed trees and brush. Then they stopped to watch us to determine if the intruders were any kind of threat to them.

We made our way through the trails. I am fairly predictable here. We completed our loop, stopping on the pier at Lancaster Lake. It has finally frozen over. There was evidence of critters that had been taking short cuts across the frozen water.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. It was simply the perfect morning.

I forgot to think about much else.

I think that’s the point in this…