The fog and drizzle of the past few days have combined to melt 99.9% of the snow that fell last week. After the snow came the freezing rain, which made walking and driving treacherous. Now that I can safely walk around again, I find I'm enjoying what will likely be a brief respite from shuffling across the ice. I can walk on snow as well as anyone, but I can do without the ice.
The dogs appreciate the longer walks we are taking too. In fact, I can't even claim that they got much of anything that resembled a walk this past weekend. So now they have more energy than they can contain and are finding all kinds of mischief to get into to work off some of that energy.
The respite has affected the cardinals, too. I heard one singing this morning. This is not a sound I expect to hear in December. Cardinals do sing earlier than other birds, but they usually wait until a sunny day in February to start their chorus.
The ponds that were iced over are now open again in spots that get at least a little of the afternoon sun. The ground that was freezing is soft again. The air smells like winter but feels a bit like late November, as though winter has not yet settled in and decided to stay.
The respite will be a short one, if years past are any indication. I welcome this short respite. I already had the season's first taste of winter, just enough to remind me what it is like. The first taste helps me prepare my mind and the cabin for it. When it comes to stay, next week or the week after that, I will be ready.