Yippie-skippie, yay, yahoo! It’s warming up for a few days! Tomorrow might not require wearing every single layer that I own!
Of course, a warmup in January almost always means more snow, even if it’s just a bit. This morning a new layer of about an inch of fluffy powder coats the ground – the kind that delights downhill skiers, but not those longing for a snowball fight or who want to build a snowman. Of course it was still cloudy… but there was an actual sun rise; a thin patch in the clouds was wide enough to let this morning’s fiery red ball of light and heat show in his entirety.
A day like today, respect is the watchword. It takes only a little extra care and attention, and you can leave the area as you found it, allowing those who will come after you the opportunity to see everything as you did – white, pure, untouched.
Things like –
- Not trampling over animal tracks – even if it’s something that doesn’t interest you, don’t take away someone else’s fun in identifying and following critters by obliviously obscuring the newest trails.
- Unless you absolutely need them for support or to prevent a fall, leave handrails alone. Safety first and always, of course, but there’s a kind of appeal to untouched railings… as though mankind’s hand will be felt by nature only lightly, no matter where or when.
- Where possible, stay away from coated branches and half-covered grasses. Obviously, if you’re walking a trail there will be some places where you’ll have to brush against and knock down the grasses’ new snow layer. But if you can, step around.
- Got a dog with you? Pick up after them on mornings like this, even if it’s not necessary or even requested. A brown pile of dog doo mars a landscape of otherwise pristine whiteness.
If you’re first on a public trail after an overnight snowfall, be kind. Be generous; as far as you’re able, allow other folks the privilege you’ve enjoyed and leave everything as you found it. Just a little consideration and respect, and everyone can feel the same delight and appreciation you did on seeing the fresh, renewed area.