A Winter Walk

We’ve had a spate of very cold (for N. Texas) weather this December-January. Way below freezing some mornings at Woodcreek Ranch (a.k.a. the farm), our place north of Dallas. It warmed up as suddenly as it got cold, typical for N. Texas this time of year. That meant out of the studio and onto the Tally-Ho Trail. Years ago we cut a wide trail, named by my granddaughter Sabrina, through the woods on our property. The trail follows the winding Choctaw Creek. It’s a mile and a half round trip with a few gentle hills. It’s not Colorado, but good for Texas.

The trees are bare except for some lingering brown leaves on the oaks. The only sounds are from the birds and the crunch of leaves under my feet. The lines and shapes of the trees make distinctive patterns against each other and the sky, more now than at other times of the year. Textures leap out at me.

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Here and there I spot some very large old trees. How much longer they will stand is anyone’s guess.

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The angle of the sun in winter creates strong shadows, which play across the trail in unexpected places.

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The creek bed is almost completely dry right now, a sad sight. No matter how much rain we get it never seems to be enough. It does, however, have its own kind of beauty in the tangle of tree roots and vines hugging its sides and the branches collecting along the edge.

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Color isn’t completely absent. A spot of green here, a pinch of red there.

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Suddenly, there is this! What is this strange and beautiful growth all over a tree stump?

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Each season brings different things into focus along the trail. Each time I walk it I notice something I missed the time before. Nature has a way of doing that.

How lucky I am.