Tuesday, January 26, 2010


All photos Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg, MB. January 26, 2010

* * *

I was crabby this morning, after yesterday's sick child/wailing blizzard, the re-appearance of winter's blue static crackles and dry throat.

So I pulled out the BIG coat, tore thru the baskets of hats and mitts, and ventured out.

And I was alone in the forest, except for the older made-of-sticks man who has the oldest X-country skis in the whole world and wears a baseball cap to ski in. No scarf. Not even a turtleneck.

But he's been there every time I've been there of late, both of us plodding along, both of us clearly pleased with our ourselves. He asked me, as we cross paths, if my coffee was still warm.

I said it was. And it mostly was.

And then I kept breaking snow and scanning downed logs for mushrooms. Not expecting much now that we'd had another big snow.

But then I happened to take the path that circles the pond in the middle of the forest, in an effort to avoid a pair of yuppies with unleashed dogs and cellphones held up to their ears.

I realized, halfway around, that I could get to the island in the middle of the pond, usually only the domain of beaver and summer geese.

So I spent a good twenty minutes behind a curtain of burnt bullrushes, happily looking for - and finding - mushrooms.

What a good winter it's been for the forest. Which is something to be grateful for. Something I almost never find myself saying during the deepfreeze months, either unwilling to get cold or to make the time, when it feels like there's so little light and so much to get done.

But I've got a book coming out this spring and I'm a little restless. And it's my last writing/thinking/reading Tuesday before my M-i-L heads south for a few months. And the deadlines will wait. They always do.