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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Magical Morning

Greetings from the fabulous land of Winter at Cascade Bluff! We recently made a quick-turn-around trip to the Bluff to check our systems (discovering a non-functioning boiler and in-floor heat.... now fixed...) and had a couple of days of the usual early winter dreary skies. Those pictures will remain unposted forever... because Dec 11 dawned, literally, completely clear and full of magic. 

I got up with camera in hand to watch the last stars fade and the first glimmers of dawn... then the sun started to peek up over the horizon, awfully far to the south... the solstice is only ten days away...

First gold...

...then some shades of pink...
... they call it alpenglow, but I just love it when we see these peach tones in the north...

The common aspen looks so lovely and elegant...
Sky is getting brighter...
I took a stroll into the woods to check out the details...
Pretty nice pink blush on the trees...
The giant Mother Birch who is the guardian of our labyrinth... 
Here's one of the wonderful bells from our wedding, now hanging outdoors.... silent this morning with a thick coating of ice and frost to dampen the sound... 
More bells...

Layers of white, pink and blue...
The labyrinth arch....
..and the labyrinth itself, now hiding under a light coat of new snow...
Close up of those lovely copper bells...
Each branch looked individually frosted. Those Cook County Frost Elves must have been extra busy overnight! 
WOW! Such a brilliant blue! 
Pretty birch, even prettier all dressed up in glittering white...
Such ordinary trees and shrubs look gorgeous...
The view straight up into a cedar... a real WHITE cedar! 
Last peek at the moon...
One of our mature white pines, seen from a distance with frost in her hair...
That mountain again, highlighted with new snow...
We still haven't made it up to these cliffs yet... lazy bums...
Morning mist hovered over The Lake

Our "door bell" was etched with spiky frost... 

The pink tones faded and the morning turned to silver and blue...


Isn't this frost amazing? Looks like you could hurt yourself on this railing! 

The big picture...
...and right down to the tiniest detail... even the icicles had frost! 
Mmm love that winter blue sky...
...or maybe it just seems blue-er with the white on the trees...
There's our house, perched on the hill and looking very perky
This birch seems so delicate...
Even last year's raspberry canes are artistic this morning...
...and the entrance to the East Border Trail looks mighty inviting... but alas, we had to head back to the city on this frosty morning...no time for exploring
Here's the view from the road to the east... all those deep green spruce all decked out in winter finery
And up on the far hillside, the aspens and maples look like puffballs... 
Heading down the road...
Aha! Someone with very big feet visited us last night... and big teeth, I suspect... 
The Big Bad Wolf veered off the road here...
..and took this shortcut from Alex's Overlook down to the Cascade River... 
A closer look at those big paw prints in the snow... 
A few final shots of the hoarfrost... 
...because I know it will be all too fleeting... gone by mid morning...
These final few shots show how even the old gravel pit can be a place of stunning beauty...

Another wolf, perhaps? See that line of prints heading across the field? 
Can't resist... just a few more shots... 
Awesome delicacy...






Just like a picture print by Currier and Ives... 

...and then we drove off... and the frost line was gone in just a few hundred feet! We were so lucky to have caught such a magical morning!