How to Love Winter (And why I'm sad to see it go.)
As I write this I’m currently in my office. That is a pretty normal statement for anyone writing a blog post, however my office is not the one you may have seen in our behind the scenes videos immediately adjacent to our workspace, nor is it in some hip coffee shop in the city. No, my office is in a tent outside.
I call it a tent but many call it a tipi. There is no floor to save weight, also this is preferred for the kind of winter camping I like to do. I’m not cold, a tiny wood stove provides comfortable radiant heat. Currently we are in a winter storm warning and I can attest to the accuracy of that warning as I see my shelter shake and breathe in the wind while listening to the tap tap tap of frozen ice pellets as they pelt the ultra thin silnylon fabric that shelters me. I’m reminded that I’m not alone out here, outside I hear wildlife of every size and variety actively working outside. A pileated woodpecker is vigorously using his beak like a mini jackhammer on a neighbors tree. Trumpeter swans fly by calling out in their clear honk while you can make out the subtle noise air makes as their large white wings cut through the wind. A bunny likes to eat the exposed grass inside my office when I’m not around. I haven’t seen him but he does leave me little reminders of his activity here and there.
My wildlife coworkers are excited about the season changing and despite the fact that the title of this blog might make you think that I’m not, I actually am. Melissa and I have had some great adventures this winter. In February when we were in our normal winter routine of binging episodes of our favorite show “Survivor”, she proposed the idea to make it our goal to spend at least 45min outside every day doing some form of physical exercise. And when I say every day, I do mean every day, even if the weather is what some may call “inclement” (Def: Unpleasantly cold or wet). Our goal has been to spend at least 45 min outside no matter what the weather or temperature is. This has led to some exciting discoveries and adventures. We’ve snowshoed in a blizzard at dawn. We’ve ice skated on our lake after a fluke February rain left us with a perfectly smooth skating surface. And, we’ve also enjoyed finding new hiking trails a short drive from our house that will probably be just as nice even when the weather turns boring and, well… warm.
As a kid we associate snowy weather with fun! We can sled, ice skate, throw snowballs or build snow forts. But as adults trying to deal with hectic schedules we forget how fun winter is. Especially when we need to dig our car out of a snowbank like an archeologist unearthing dinosaur bones.
Winter can be a blast when we do the kind of hobbies we can only do in the winter. So if you live in the midwest like we do and you still find snow where bright green spring grass should be, get outside and enjoy what’s left of winter while you still can. Then maybe you’ll actually look forward to next winter.