Squeaky snow. A crunchy jacket. Steam rising from the big lake. I turn on my car with a growling start – it tells me it is -7 degrees F. Maya’s dog tags clank in the quiet morning as we walk. She picks up her paw, looking at it. Likely wondering why it has started to tingle or maybe why she can’t feel it any longer? Oh, winter. Welcome to the North Shore.
True winter arrived a week or two ago. Snow was on the ground and the sub-zero temps arrived. I thought to myself, “well, the warm winter was fun while it lasted.” And it was fun to not have your lungs burn from the frosty air and to have many sunshine filled days. At the same time, it didn’t feel true. These things are part of winter on the North Shore. Along with the not so fun parts (such as the aforementioned burning lungs) come the lovely parts of winter. The beautiful views of Lake Superior surrendering its moisture to the air with ‘sea smoke’. The fairy tale-like scenes with snow covered boughs hanging low, creating tunnels through the woods to explore on snowshoes with an enthusiastic dog. And the many other outdoor things like skiing and ice skating, only possible when the temps dip low enough and the snow comes in abundance.
This week’s wind gusts and subzero temps have put some of these favorite winter activities on hold. But I can still enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Superior in the morning and feel relief when I escape the wind when I enter the threshold of our house. Welcome, winter.