Thursday, January 24, 2008
Another Winter Morning
Snow still covers the mountain this morning, but it's not longer quite as pretty as it was on the day when it fell, which is when I took today's photo. The little storm brought about 3 inches of snow, and this morning I have 1-2 inches of it left, along with long patches of ice where the snow was compacted by the car or my footprints. The temperature has flirted with 32 degrees for the past two days but hasn't quite gotten there. Still, bright sunshine on both days has added to the temperature, at least enough to briefly melt the top layer of snowflakes. Then, as soon as the sun sets, that layer refreezes and the result is that it's slipperier now around the cabin than it was during the little storm itself.
I wear yak-trax on my boots--sort of like tire chains for people--and they work pretty well. The dogs are a different story. Even with their longer toenails, they slip and slide all over the place. Baby Dog enjoys this enormously and even seems to deliberately find ways and places to slip in ever more amusing style. Dog seems to be surprised that he slips, as though he doesn't understand how such a thing could be happening.
The slippery conditions limit our morning walks. We no longer walk for a mile or two, as we do when the footing is good. Now, we inch our way down the lane at a speed that's too slow for the dogs and too fast for me. They pull at the leash, anxious to go faster. I hold on. In non-icy weather, both dogs walk well, at least most of the time, on a loose leash, but when we are moving this slowly, their eagerness to go faster overcomes their training. We must look ridiculous, though at the hour of our walks there is no one to see us, for which I am grateful.
When it is time to head back to the cabin, they look ahead, along the trail we usually take, wondering why we are turning back so soon. We spend the same amount of time outside that we always do. We just don't travel as far as usual. They don't like that. To them, the distance is the thing, and apparently feel our walks should be the same, even if we would spend hours traveling the same distance. The concept of time isn't something I can teach the dogs. I ignore their disappointed looks and we inch our way back up to the cabin, slipping and sliding on the ice.