dec 29/RUN

5 miles
franklin hill turn around
34 degrees / humidity: 87%
60% snow and slush covered

A nice run, even if it was a little too slushy and slick. After I was done, walking on edmund, I took out my phone and recorded my thoughts and the sounds of this wintery Thursday morning. Very cool to listen back to the recording: the steady crunch crunch crunch of my feet, car wheels whooshing through the slushy puddles, the hum of the city, birds chirping, melted snow drip drip dripping through the metal gutter, the brief moments when my feet go silent as I cross over bare pavement.

Ran north with no headphones, south with a playlist (summer 2014).

post run winter morning sounds

10 Things I Noticed

  1. a congress of crows, cawing loudly (congress, council, and consideration are J. Drew Lanham’s collective name for crows instead of murder)
  2. greeting Dave the Daily Walker, good morning Dave!
  3. the river is white, completely covered
  4. in some spots, the trail was 1/2 slush, with a few spots of ice
  5. in other spots, bare pavement
  6. a woman in a yellow vest, running fast in the road. I marveled at the steady rhythm of her feet and before I knew it she was way over on the other side of 36th. I spotted her as a bright yellow dot in the distance
  7. the scraping of ski poles to the side of me — not quick thrusts, but the steady drag of poles down a hill
  8. some of the snow was white, some gray, some light brown
  9. several runners, many walkers, a few fat tires
  10. 2 women walking in the middle of the trail, in the barest spot, stopping every few seconds to stare at something — what?

Here are a few passages about the wonder of winter from Dallas Lore Sharp and his book Winter. I originally heard about him on The Marginalia.

I love the winter…its bare fields, empty woods, flattened meadows, its ranging landscapes, its stirless silences, its tumult of storms, its crystal nights with stars new cut in the glittering sky, its challenge, defiance, and mighty wrath. I love its wild life–its birds and animals; the shifts they make to conquer death. And then, out of this winter watching, I love the gentleness that comes, the sympathy, the understanding!

you must see how close you had passed to and for all summer to the vireo’s nest, hanging from the fork on a branch of some low bush or tree, so near to the path that it almost brushed your hat. Yet you never daw it! Go on and make a study of the empty nests….Study how the different birds build — materials, shapes, finish, supports; for winter is the better season in which to make such study, the summer being so crowded with interests of its own.

When the snow hardens, especially after a strong wind, go out to see what you can find in the wind furrows of the snow–in the holes, hollows, pockets, and in footprints in the snow. Nothing? Look again, closely — that dust — wind-sweepings — seeds!

winter, when the leaves are off, the ground bare, the birds and flowers gone, and all is reduced to singleness and simplicity — winter is the time to observe the shapes, colors, varieties, and growth of the lichens.

What a world of gray days, waste lands, bare woods, and frozen waters there is to see! And you should see them — gray and bare and waste and frozen. But what is a frozen pond for if not to be skated on? and waste white lands, but to go sleighing over? and cold gray days, but so many opportunities to stay indoors with your good books?

You will see the fishermen on the ponds catching pickerel through the ice — life swimming there under the frozen surface! You will see the bare empty woodland fresh budded to the tip of each tiny twig — life all over the trees thrust forward to catch the touch of spring! You will see the wide flinty fields thick sown with seeds — life, more life than the sun and the soil can feed, sleeping there under “the tender, sculturesque, immaculate, warming, fertilizing snow”!

The air was crisper; the snow began to crackle underfoot; the twigs creaked and rattled as I brushed along; a brown beech leaf wavered down and skated with a thin scratch over the crust…These were not the voices, colors, odors, and forms of summer. The very face of things had changed; all had been reduced, made plain, simple, single, pure! There was less for the senses, but how much keener now their joy! The wide landscape the frosty air, the tinkle of tiny icicles, and, out of the quiet of the falling twilight, the voice of the quail!