Actually it’s not winter yet here in Ohio, in Midwestern US.  Winter officially begins tomorrow with Winter Solstice. As usual, I’ll be going to my church for an all-faiths (including no-faith) Winter Solstice Celebration with drumming, singing, dancing, shamans, priests and storytellers from many cultures.  It’s a delightful way to welcome in winter and celebrate Yule, while eagerly awaiting Christmas! 🙂

Today I ventured out to look at the meadow and pond  beside our condo walking path. I didn’t go all the way to the woods because I’m still recovering from bronchitis. Our glorious, gorgeous snow from last week is gone, but then so are the very subfreezing temperatures–highs of 11 F (-12 C) or less and lows of 5 F (-15 C) or less, depending on just which micro-climate you were in. Today it is a balmy 30 F (-1 C).

That’s still a bit nippy when your lungs are not feeling great, but I have been getting ‘cabin fever,’ and simply had to go outside.

Here is the walking path. It is directly across the street from my condo:



And here is a little path through a stand of trees to get to the pond:


I discovered that the pond is frozen, and there was no sign of the remaining mallard ducks that had not migrated earlier in the fall:



It was actually sunny earlier, but I was stuck inside a doctor’s office then. But these gray skies are actually more typical of Ohio in the winter:


I am trying out my son Nick’s camera. He takes all his photos now with his smart phone and left his camera behind when he moved out.  It is a Fujifilm Finepix S1500, with 10.0 megapixels, image stabilization and a great zoom, both analog and digital.  It is a DSLR, but so far I have only used it in auto mode. I’m hoping to get better at it so that my photos of Iceland in May are good. Meanwhile, here is a panoramic shot I took with the camera’s special feature:


I love the look of bare branches against the sky:



Here is all that remains of the snow on the walking path:


But all is not gray here. Last night I made a fruit salad out of blueberries, a Jazz apple, two bananas, raisins and chopped dried apricots in a cherished bowl that I inherited from my late Mother.  It brings back so many happy memories of days in my parents’ kitchen:

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and are having winter (or almost!), I hope that you are staying warm and cozy!