I have been drawn to the Cress Creek and Wolf Flats areas this winter. Both have been treasure troves of wildlife and precious views painted by the setting sun. Today was no different. The fog rolled over the hills from the potato fields above to the river below. Frost laced the vegetation on the cliffs only to be disturbed by the many deer grazing at the close of day. Only a slight breeze shuffled the tops of trees and ruffled the feathers of eagles and hawks in search of dinner below.
The air is warming as Spring approaches from a distance. Melt from the roads and hills led to a tricky drive as I nearly slid off the road on the thick mud. Wolf Flats road is not maintained between November and April, so navigating the road is an adventure in and of itself. I turned around at the ranch along the river as the road up the adjacent hill has become near impassible covered in nearly a foot of snow. Without chains or studded tires, it wasn't worth trying.
The sun broke through the clouds just in time for it to set below the horizon casting a beautiful orange glow across the vast landscape. The mountain peaks, covered in snow, were lit up, contrasted by the navy blue tones of the pine forests dressing their slopes. The river reflected the colors of the sky as it slowed at the mouth of the canyon and meandered toward the nature trail at Cress Creek.
Every twist and turn of today's drive felt new, refreshing, healing. Odd, though, as I have driven this same route nearly a dozen times, and recently, almost a half dozen times. But I felt free and involved. Not only a witness to the beauty of the planet, but rather like I too was as much apart of it as the animals, the trees and bushes, and the mountains. I felt connected and calm, at peace.
Pictures speak a thousand words as it's said, so I will let them say the rest. Here are pictures from today, enjoy!