As soon as I found out that the Medical Center was closed for the day due to inclement weather, I was out of my office clothes and into jeans and a Carhartt, and on my way up the driveway in the truck, camera and coffee in hand, and Enya playing on the stereo. It was about 7:30 AM, and it wasn’t snowing yet, but it was sleeting little stinging grains. The overnight fog had coated the upper elevation landscape in a thick layer of hoarfrost, transforming the hills and trees and fences and barbed wire. Those common, mundane things were suddenly beautified, enchanted, magical. A perfect day to wander the icing-up roads and take pictures.
I headed towards Hermosa. The view over the home place was frosted and silver beneath the lowering clouds. Snow was coming, but taking its time. A petty, biting wind was blowing, and everything – taut barbed wire fences, delicate dried flowers, Ponderosa pine needles, grasses – everything trembled and quivered before the nipping breeze. I didn’t even catch a glimpse of Remington and Dove. They must have been hunkered down in a sheltered ravine or a stand of trees. Not a sight of them.
Where Highway 79 intersects with Highway 40 and Highway 36, the fog seemed to have been the heaviest. All the naked boughs of the oaks and other hardwood trees that grow along Battle Creek were stark white. The ground almost looked like it was covered in snow. Traffic was scarce and slow. So many shades of white: the white of the trees coated in frost, the white of the ground coated in frost, the white of the sky heavy with snow.
Up and down over hills, I drove in and out of the frost. In low places where hills rose steeply, I could see a stark line where the frost began, where the fog must have drifted and glazed the trees. Iron Creek and Battle Creek were almost frozen over in places. Back towards Keystone around 9:30 or 10:00, the snow was already starting to fly.
I didn’t get home until 10:30 or so, and I could have stayed out a lot longer than I did. So much beauty to marvel at, so many little miracles, from ice-covered flowers to glistening white landscapes. Fog and frost: two of my favorite things.
Rapid City and the surrounding area began battening down the hatches last night, bracing for the first winter storm of the season. Today, this included businesses closing, schools shutting down, and the clinic closing for the day. The snow has piled up enough that parts of I-90 have closed and there is a no travel recommendation for all of western South Dakota. What a great day to cozy up and stay warm. We waited all day for the power to go out. It didn’t.
The rest of this afternoon, I listened to an Adventures in Odyssey episode with my sisters, cuddled Kashka, the black cat, read Little Britches, got an Etsy order ready to ship out, brainstormed about turning blue jeans into denim skirts, and watched the snow pile up outside. I love winter. And I love the chance to wander and wonder, to marvel, to dream, to experience in such a small way the creative mind of an Almighty God by looking at His glorious Creation.
Any day that begins with wonder is bound to be a good day.