Springtime in Winter?

I went on a 2.5 mile hike on the rail trail, which is an old railroad track bed that runs between Kingston and New Paltz and perhaps even beyond. 

I have never walked the path in the winter, nevermind the end of January, but with the temps near 50, and the sun shining through a thin blanket of spotty clouds, I donned my waterproof muck boots and a few layers of fleece and headed out with my best friend.   

The ground was not frozen, and only small patches of snow dotted the woods. In the cooler shady parts  there were patches of ice, but a majority of the trail was mushy and muddy.  The little streams that run along side the trail were full, and the ice on the areas that pooled and on the beaver pond were thin and you could see where an animal had nearly gone in. 

It was very odd, and though the effects of global warming are not good, such as the release of methane through the thinning artic ice, and endangering species of animals, etc., we looked on the brighter side of a bad situation; we were saving money on gas/oil, on winter sports, and we were not feeling the effects of winter as badly as we had in the past on our psyche.  I grumbled about not having any snow days, but if I had to trade snow days with ice/snow/cold/wind, I would give up the snow days.

The soggy, semi frozen/semi liquid landscape was different in color, texture, smell.  It was not only a good walk, but it was a visual adventure.  I took a few photos with the Droid to capture the Hudson Valley in the middle of a very mild winter. 

By the way...the spinach is still green in the garden, and the larkspur seedlings are a few inches high. The garlic is poking above its insulated bed of mulched leaves, and nature is so totally confused. 


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