Chalk One Up For Spring

chalk-drawingAfter this long winter, the relatively warmer temperatures we had hoped for are finally here. Although when the snowbanks melted, what they left behind doesn’t look so great – dirt and bits of branches from the ice storm.

In an attempt to offset the grim look of the street, I thought I’d try to add something more cheerful.

Not art – just having fun.

 

One Way to Keep Warm This Winter

pan It seems winter isn’t letting up anytime soon, so here’s something to try this weekend -  why not walk to your local bakery, and pick up a loaf of bread, fresh from the oven.

I am told that this brown paper wrapped piping hot package will keep you warm for the whole walk home – even at minus 30.

After a walk in the crisp air, breakfast tastes even better.

What’s your favorite view?

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Sometimes it’s situational. For instance, if I have just finished a 6 day canoe trip, then I’m most captivated by the view of the chip stand at the side of a dirt road on the drive home.

But overall there are places that standout, because they take our breath away, put us at ease or make us smile.

When you’re outside, you aren’t just seeing the view, but experiencing the place as well. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t replace being there.

Wolves and Otters Showing Us How It’s Done

wolves2We heard them long before we saw them – three wolves howling -  a sound that is beautiful and haunting at the same time. I wondered why they were howling, but figured they must have been calling their pal, since they stopped when a fourth wolf showed up.

Winter is my favorite time to go to the zoo because:

  • There aren’t any crowds.
  • It makes for a really interesting walk when you see so many different animals.
  • You get more opportunities to ask zoo keepers questions.

We met a keeper yesterday who is a vet technician, having started his career as a youth volunteer at the zoo. He said he finds the work so rewarding, because he loves caring for the animals, getting to know their distinct personalities, and he enjoys educating the public about these wonderful creatures.

A lot of people have been complaining about the winter this season, but an otter I saw yesterday could not have been happier – making snowballs, tossing them, running and sliding on the snow on his belly.

These ambassador animals not only teach us something about wildlife and their habitats but also about having fun.

What’s Your Favorite Thing to Make out of Snow?

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I have to admit , I wasn’t as enthusiastic as usual about a weekend away to enjoy the outdoors, considering the holiday season, without power (due to the ice storm), had been a bit like winter camping.

The arrival was promising – lots of snow. But the first day also brought rain. Still, it ends up that the rain created great packing snow, which is perfect for making:

  • forts
  • sculptures
  • winter treats – make a snowball and drizzle it with Bailey’s Irish Cream

So I make this little rabbit – and then I sat back in the snow and enjoyed a snowball with a little Bailey’s on top.

Cold Weather is Perfect For …

ice_lantern

I’m not creative in the least, but making these ice lanterns gives me the illusion that I am. What could be better than something that makes itself while you sleep?

The nice people at Lee Valley can set you up with the mold for making these – perhaps making a set for your porch or walkway. So far I’ve only made one, but have just filled the mold to start another.

Even though it’s often said that people have creative breakthroughs in their sleep, in my case it’s doubtful. But what is certain, is that when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll have another ice lantern.

Almost First

ice_prints

The tracks made it obvious that I wasn’t the first one to walk on the lake this year – but I’m pretty sure I was the first to skate. It’s early in the season, so I was cautious – just skating near the shore, where the water depth is only up to my knees. Worse case, I would have had soggy skates.

The ice was perfect – smooth and no shoveling required.

Couldn’t have been a better start to the season, when the whole lake becomes a playing surface. Ok, not the whole lake quite yet. I’ll wait until we’ve had cold for a little longer before venturing further from shore.