Dispatches: Leaning In To Winter’s Bone

It’s not officially winter for a few more days, but it certainly has felt like it around these parts lately.

Took a hike in my favorite local spot, Clayton Park, yesterday morning. About an hour of follow-the-path to get my legs stretched out and the blood moving.

Seemed like I was good at keeping the “Quarantine 10” (or is it 15) at bay for a long while – all those summer bike rides helped.

But, the last few weeks…Snug City.

So, I’m trying to the old bones moving again – some full-body dumbbell workouts in the basement, a run, or a hike out in the fresh air.

Anyway, Wednesday morning was crisp cold, about 35 degrees. Clayton Park is over 400 acres of drab faded brown now. But, I had my XT3 with me, and as I was moving around, I was still trying to see what I could see.

A thin sheen of ice was over the pond – certainly not thick enough too even consider stepping on, but ice nonetheless.

Winter was illustrating itself all around me.

But it wasn’t just at Clayton Park. Driving down Country Route 524 yesterday, I saw that the snow fences had been unrolled and installed.

The snow fences help prevent snow from drifting on the road way. When they go up, and when they come down, though, are visual calendar pinpoints here in Upper Freehold.

And the light. The light now is different. Like the morning light.

During this time of year, when I take the dogs out to the yard in the morning, I like to look across the street and see how the sunrise starts to illuminate the forest there. Then, slowly, like an ice cube melting, the shadow drifts down the treeline and disappears. A new day is here.

And that late-afternoon light. Sunday, across the street, in those woods with my son, Matt. It had rained all of Saturday so we wanted to see what the stream that runs back there looked like.

It was getting on past 3:30 or so, I looked over and saw this hunter’s tree stand in silhouette. The sun low already.

All of this is telling me – showing me – that winter is coming. It’ll get colder. We may get snow. And ice.

But for this summer-loving guy, I take solace in the fact that once the shortest day of the year comes on December 21….the days start to get longer. And longer.

It’s enough to make me – and Matt – want to jump for joy.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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2 thoughts on “Dispatches: Leaning In To Winter’s Bone

  1. Between the pandemic and the short, cold days, I for one am looking forward to the lengthening days and warmer weather. Just the promise of those things is enought to lift one’s spirit.

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