Winter has been hitting me hard. I spent a good portion of my morning whining about the additional 4 inches of snow the Chicagoland area got last night. Hopefully the last big snow for the season. I suffer a bit from Seasonal Affective Disorder and have felt the darkness and cold weather as an oppressive pressure suffocating me in my suburban neighborhood. I miss my garden and summer and beaches and getting dirty outside in nature. I want winter to be over. I hate winter. Down with freezing cold temperatures! Up with gardens!
Then on a whim I took a drive through Fermilab Natural Areas this morning with my camera; it’s probably the first time this year that snow has stayed artfully resting on the tree limbs (see photos). A red-tailed hawk flew overhead and landed on a tree in front of me. My favorite photo is Nepese Marsh (bottom photo), which was completely frozen over and had wildly amazing snow designs created by butterfly weed and frozen marsh plants. It was a lonely, quiet, sunny, and beautiful day in a natural prairie island that is Fermilab Natural Areas — surrounded by urban city for miles and miles. This day was a surprise. For a moment it felt magical, poised in frozen bliss, as if Mother Nature somehow took all that hate I have for cold weather and made it coalesce at the back of my mind instead of the front. Perhaps even cold snow is a wondrous part of nature. My heart smiles as I hopefully said goodbye to the last big snow of the season and look ahead to spring.