Sunday, February 17, 2008

Arctic Bears

Enjoyed tonight's edition of Nature focused on polar and brown bears in the rapidly changing Arctic. Well, enjoyed along with the usual great sadness of what my species has done to the world. Some great photography such as looking up through ice at a polar bear walking, and all that beautiful white snow and ice and space.

Around this time of year, I hear people talking about how they like winter but they're ready for it to be over. I'm easily ready for months more of it, and think I would be completely content to live in a year round winter climate. In part it's simply because I love snow and the cold, but I also love that it reduces the human population on my walks.

On these cold and peaceful days, I can walk a couple miles along the Lake and often encounter no one. I'm alone to quietly contemplate today's Lake, which is almost always very different from yesterday's Lake; to see the steam rising from open water or hear the thump of waves under ice; to imagine the night journey of the mink who left tracks in the new snow; to appreciate the art of the plates of ice piling up near the shoreline by the smoothly glazed boulders. In summer, the solitude is replaced with hordes of walkers, joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders, and tourists in pedal-powered carriages. Ahh, for a world with more polar bears and fewer people.

3 comments:

Lisa J. said...

I miss the quietude of winter... snowy hikes along the river, through the woods, or even just down the sidewalk. Seems like people worth knowing are those willing to walk in the snow. ;)

Stephanie said...

You describe winter so beautifully that I imagine you could make even the most dedicated winter-haters (like the person with whom I live) feel a little sentimental about it.

greentangle said...

Sometimes I wish I'd joined the digital photo world so I wouldn't have to try to describe it with words. This morning I hiked Park Point, which always reminds me of Cape Cod with its sand dunes and pines (different species, but still). The beach is mostly bare sand with scattered big chunks of ice...looking down into them, you see the air bubbles and patterns of cracks and it looks like a three dimensional version of frost on a window. From the shore a couple hundred feet of ice and snow has built up over the winter and looks like a miniature mountain range. Looking out at the sky and Lake beyond which is a mix of water and ice today, are all the shades of blues and whites and greys you can imagine for as far as you can see. Just stunning.