More sun - the Idaho variety

I love the combination of snow and sunshine. So do my dogs. After a brief taste of winter when snow hit Seattle in January, I decide the dogs and I should enjoy some real winter. I pack up the car with dogs, food and gear and off we go to Idaho for a short snow vacation.

After a day of driving, we arrive at our destination in the dark. I can see that there's snow on the ground, but not as much as I've seen in past years in February. In fact, the lane to the house is...bare dirt! Uh oh.

Arriving at the house, the dogs are eager to get out of the car. I open the door from the garage to the yard and whoosh! all three of them try to squeeze through the door at the same time to get into the snow-covered yard first. The snoworgasms begin.

Doggy bliss. A yard full of snow. 

And a full moon. I don't need a flashlight to make my way through the yard with the dogs. It's very, very cold because of the clear skies. There's crust on the snow that crunches with our every step. I keep staring at the moon and the stars, all so crisply visible through the higher elevation country air.

The next morning, we awake to clear skies and temperatures in the single digits. The malamutes have to be coaxed inside! The girls lay on the snow on the deck and watch the neighborhood from their high perch. Finn, with his thin coat, needs to be moving to stay warm when he's outside, so I go out with him and throw some toys for him to chase.

Finn tries to entice the girls to play, but Maia's busy eating ice and Meadow would rather observe. The sun is just coming up over the hills behind the house.

As the sun rises and casts a warm pink glow on the high hills to the east, I take photos:

Pollock Mountain glowing pink in early sunlight.

It is so cold outside that my old digital camera battery dies within minutes. I keep recharging it throughout the morning.

Given the very cold temperatures, I make Finn wait a couple of hours before heading out on a walk down the lane. The morning layer of fog is burning off, leaving the thick coating of frost on the trees and shrubs to sparkle in the sunlight. 

Indulge me as I share some photos of the gorgeous scenery.

Finn ushers me down the lane. At least the footing is good for me.

Fog in the valley, sunshine and blue skies above.

Nature's lace work.

Finn enjoyed his usual ditch-hopping-looking-for-critters activity as we made our way down the lane. One vole dashed across the road right in front of him, disappearing down a hole into the snowbank. Finn lost track of it - Finn rarely uses his nose and relies instead on chasing movement - even though I could clearly see the burrow the critter had jumped into for sanctuary. Because there are so few cars, I can safely let Finn romp off leash, chasing voles real and imaginary, which means he doesn't lose patience when I constantly stop to take photos. It works for both of us.

Near the bottom of the lane, there's an old barn that had been well-maintained by the owners. They painted it and several other outbuildings a nice country barn red color a couple of years ago. They added a metal sculpture to the west-facing side of the big barn, high up near the peak, for whimsey:

Every time I walk by, I smile. Is the farmer dancing a jig, or...did he just step in some cow manure?


Rebecca WallickComment