A mid-winter walk

By Caitlin Kelly

path2

We’d endured day after day after day of cold, gray, wet, sunless weather.

Cabin fever was setting in — not to mention Vitamin D deficiency.

Finally (yay!) a January day, unseasonably warm for a downstate New York winter, about 45 degrees F, and it was finally a chance to get out for a walk!

Here are some images I shot with my cellphone, along the pathway near our home I’ve been walking in every season for decades.

It’s nothing fancy. No amazing, jaw-dropping views; it’s a mile in each direction, and there are several benches at the reservoir’s edge so you can sit for a while and savor it.

moss

rock2

brook

leafs

mushrooms

treetops

path

I love how the light shifts season to season, how the woods, in spring and summer, go from silent to full of animals and birds.

This time of year, the only sounds I heard were dried leaves rustling in the wind, a brook and some cars circling the reservoir.

Winter is a season whose beauty is easily overlooked, subtle and quiet — water reflections, pale leaves, lichen and moss.

There is something so deeply soothing and restorative, for me, walking in nature alone.

No music.

Just air and light and water, trees and rocks and plants and sky.

Do you get out into nature often?

Do you also find it healing?

21 thoughts on “A mid-winter walk

  1. I have this unfortunate addiction to civilization, and unfortunately I live too far from the nearest hiking trails to kick the habit. But maybe I’ll be able to change that some day soon. Anything’s possible since November, it seems.

    1. Hmmmm. Sounds like an excuse to me. 🙂 No parks? Or maybe we’re really spoiled. We have a real abundance of great places all within a 10-minute drive from our apartment, including a 750 acre Rockefeller estate.

  2. Caitlin, thanks for the lovely walk! Living through Newfoundland winters that can last 6 months, there were many days I was hard pressed to think beyond the cold, bleakness and physical work of the season Last year I was in the UK for the winter and loved every moment; it made me realize that winter can be lovely (not just to look at from a frosty window). I’m back there again for a month and understand exactly what you’ve written. My own walk comes in an hour or so – with a dog to share it with. Have a lovely day!

    1. Thanks!…I was really starting to despair that I’d never see the sun again or breathe some fresh air. (I wonder how much of this need is deeply Canadian…what do you think?)

      Lucky you to be in England for such a long stretch — I really enjoy British design magazines, and they totally celebrate country life and all its beauty. I think the English are very sensitive to it in ways we overlook.

      Have a great time!

  3. It sounds like a very pleasant place to walk.

    Having a dog means frequent walks, which I enjoy. I start each day with a walk, often around 7 am. I’ve been noticing that the sky is getting lighter at that time each day, and the birds are starting to sing earlier. Spring is on its way! 🙂

    1. I know…longer days!!! I can really see the difference now.

      One of the things I’ve enjoyed about living in one place for so long is really getting to see it in all the seasons…and noticing how very differently the sun hits/rises and sets in terms of its angle in winter and in summer. Only when you know a landscape well can you see that sort of thing.

    1. I am so lucky to live in a place with so much beauty nearby — and so little ugliness. Growing up in Toronto was odd, because bits of it are very beautiful but entire swathes of it are really ugly.

      Tarrytown is set on steep hills on the east side of the Hudson, and I’ve become spoiled by how pretty it all is.

  4. Pingback: [BLOG] Some Thursday links | A Bit More Detail

  5. I just came across your blog – I love your photos taken on your walk, I would never have guessed they were from New York state! I’m back in England at the moment, and we’ve been on several lovely walks this winter, which I have written about on my blog, I have similar photos of fallen leaves, paths, and trees. I also take part in Cee Nuner’s Which Way Challenge, where walks are featured.

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