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This time of year is always hard -- short days and inclement weather tend to make me stay inside most of the time, which tends to exacerbate symptoms of SAD. And I have more tangible sadness going on in my life (I've lost two brothers in the last two years, and my remaining brother is in the final stages of terminal cancer). Moping around the house clearly is not going to give me the emotional strength I need to get through the next few months, so I took advantage of Saturday's bright blue skies and a reasonable 20 degrees to get outside.

My last diary in this series about changing seasons/changing perspectives was just before winter storm Caesar dumped a foot of snow on the Twin Cities. Since then, the temperatures have fluctuated wildly between high 30s and frigid single digits, but the drought has kept a firm grip on the state. We've had very little additional snow ... and next week they are predicting a major thaw.

Previous diaries in this series:

May 2012

September 2012

December 2012

Minnehaha Park is always beautiful, but it is often crowded in the summer -- winter is for those who enjoy solitary walks with snow-muffled sounds. Snow-colored woozles are among those who enjoy romping in the drifts.

Winter park walkers need a bit of determination--many of the usual access routes are not maintained and are closed to all but the young and nimble (I am neither).
Taking the time to access via the back entrance is worth the effort. The following numbered views correspond to those in the previous diaries.

View 1

View 2 (in reverse--the stairs are inaccessible, so I photographed the landing I usually stand on from the other side of the trees on the path below)
View 3
View 4
View 5
View 6
The snow-colored woozle above was having a grand time yesterday, but other woozles were impatient and didn't want to wait around for old ladies to take pictures.
As I walked down toward the Mississippi, I noticed  the creek still open in many spots -- lots of tiny little tracks show where animals are catching a quick drink.
I saw lots of birds at these pools, but by the time I slogged my way closer most of them flew away ... there were about a dozen at this point just before I took this shot
but if you look very carefully, you can see one brave robin sitting on one of the rocks
Robins in Minnesota in January is just wrong, somehow. There were also lots of speckled woodpeckers, and one glorious red-headed woodpecker -- none of which cooperated in the the slightest way for photos. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Lighting and shadows on other parts of the path made for some classic winter views.

Water is still flowing merrily over Lock & Dam No. 1, but walking on snow-covered sand to get the shot was not easy, and I can't imagine what I looked like. At least I didn't fall...so I won't end up on some stupid youtube video.
The river itself was beautiful, with little bits of ice flowing by ... really lovely effect of reflections in the water that I really couldn't capture (I was getting a little cold and tired by this point).
Beaches in the tropics are nice, but so are beaches under the snow.

Originally posted to klompendanser on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse and J Town.

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