The Mute Colors of Winter – Watercolor

Immediately at the start of my hike, a single blue jay welcomes me with a loud reception. Smiling, I look ahead and notice something silver hanging from a branch…something out of place…something not of the woods…

One silver ball.
A simple gesture really, but to me it signifies hope.

I continue my walk in the woods and about a half mile further, another…

This one, so slender, the runners wont notice it. The bikers wont notice it. Only the contemplative walkers looking for little miracles in nature will be observant and slow enough to notice. And when one is deliberately slow, purposefully mindful in the moment, a whole world opens up.

A world of frozen oaks trapped in ice.
A world of delicate weeds, donating their seeds to a frigid gust…

In this world, sometimes you hear things long before you see them, but only if you’re quiet. Like a swoop of sandhill cranes high in the sky.

 

And an angry squirrel’s screeches above a frozen stream…

While one unhappy squirrel screams, another quite a distance away cries too. Is the second cry a warning call? A sympathy cry?
If you’re still vigilantly observant and look down low, you might even find a hawk’s lost dinner…

I continue my hike to observe the mute colors of winter…

And I stop a few times just to hear nothing at all. The forest is generous with its gift of silence.

The ink in my pen refuses to flow…too cold. I switch to a more trusty device – a pencil.The cold air is exhilarating as it enters deep in my lungs. My nose is wet, but that’s what my gloves are for…wipe…wipe. Winter’s subdued colors do not make this hike drab. On the contrary! Beauty still illuminates in the woods in just about every inch, high and low. Don’t let the cold keep you indoors. You’ll miss out on winter’s elegance.

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