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Winter solace

It's a grey day again at the farmette. Was looking promising at 7 a.m. when - YAY - there was light in the sky. But now it's clouded over.

With the setback of the past week - short supplies of vaccines against the horrid COVID-19 virus - I've found getting outside and doing my regular walks more important than ever. I recognize there's pretty much diddly-squat I can do about the situation, but...

Friday was a bloody cold one. I know friends and relatives out west will scoff - but -15 C with the west wind cutting a hole in your forehead is kind of uncomfortable.

I still go. Every day. I have to. It's become compulsory for my mental health.

Only when there's a howling storm with blowing snow will I not put on the long-johns, get fully tricked out with my red jacket and mitts, load up with the water bottle and don the headphones (over top of the toque, of course).

I usually set out in late afternoon, so I'm home in time for the 5 p.m. feeding of the felines. Yesterday, it was almost perfect for winter walking. Sunny, not too cold, and there was only the whisper of a wind.

This is about a quarter of the way down my lovely trail. To the right is a condo complex for older folks and to the left is low-lying swamp land.

It's just off Douglas Street about a half kilometre hike from the farmette. Lovely, eh? Mighty nice of the snowmobilers to tamp the fluffy stuff down and make it easier for old(er) legs to navigate.

In the summer the trees make a fantastic canopy that's cool and soothing shade after slogging through a hot, humid trek. Funny how - even after more than five decades - it's almost impossible to remember that feeling when it's so white and crisp and chilly. Personally, I like the contrast, and don't think I'll ever join the ranks of the snow birds who seek out the sun every winter.

The trail opens out to the mighty Saugeen river, and there's a stretch where I can see the endless movement of water making its way north and west to Lake Huron. There's something soothing about being close to it. While I'm no water baby - I kind of swim like a rock - I'm drawn to any body of H2O - whether it's the crystal clear Atlantic Ocean at Peggy's Cove or the picturesque waterfalls around Grey County, or the chugging Saugeen.

As I said, we've had a little bit of a cold snap - bringing us out of the milder temperatures that have so far marked winter 2021.

So the icicles on the houses I pass by on my route home have grown to gargantuan proportions. Here's a particularly fetching grouping on Queen Street - about the half-way mark of my route. Nice, eh?

I'm feeling all squeezy about the little spot we've managed to carve out here in the little town of Durham. While I'm missing the face-to-face contact (and hugs) that we usually are able to enjoy with friends and family, I'm hopeful that this pandemic will, eventually, end. For now, I'll be walking my walk, staying home, staying safe and wearing a mask when keeping my distance is not possible. Hope all my folks out there are too. Until next week.


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