But, while the sun shines, I'm outside - Escarpment Way, Mt. Tzouhalem, Crofton Lake, Swallowfield......even without a hiking dog, I'm out hiking. Yesterday, it was Swallowfield with my dogless friend Sally - out to the river and across the estuary. The reflections in the water were amazing:
The red you see in the above photo? Rosehips on the wild rose bushes - the grasslands across to the estuary are full of them. From the trail above, it is like looking at a field of cranberries just before they are harvested. Up close, it is a cascade of red pods:
The frost on some bushes, despite still-green leaves nearby, made for a wintry scene:
In the shade of a long rock outcropping, an old fence on the estuary is still coated with frost and shadow:
On the hike out, we took a side trip to the south end of the estuary, a more barren and desolate area yet still beautiful in its own way despite the pollution rising from the mill in the background:
And on a berm on that side was a small arbutus that caught my eye. Look closely at the trunk, about half way between the ground and where the trunk curves:
Do you see that tiny little growth coming out of the trunk? New leaves, green and red, force their way toward the light despite the season. In this straight-on photo, it looks like the tree (Canada's only native broadleaf evergreen) has a beautiful floral tattoo!
Back to the main path home, where the winter's sun, low in the sky, cast long shadows through the trees:
And that was Friday's hike. Today it was Mt. Tzouhalem with my friend Liz and her dog Sasha. The hoar frost was so thick it looked like a blanket of snow! But that's a post for another day.