Recent snowfalls have made traversing in the woods a little more challenging.
It is especially harder when certain pack members block the trail for their own purposes.
The first significant snowfall of approximately 10 inches was quite an obstacle. Packing down the first path of the year was quite the workout, despite what my "smartwatch."
I quickly worked up a sweat trudging through the deep snow even though it was bitterly cold out. Yet, my watch kept quiet. This is the same watch that tells me I have had a dynamic workout after I finish folding laundry.
Nonetheless, the dogs enjoyed the snow. Occasionally, Clem would help break the trail. However, he was not one for traveling in a straight line.
The goats on the other hand, were less enthused about the weather. There were several days when they didn't venture out of their shed. However when they did, their expressions looked like they were saying, "This is some bull crap."
Meanwhile, I was hopeful that the heavy snow would deter Gus Gus' quest for deer poop. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to find it.
My hopes were quickly dashed as the senior Saint Bernard took Gus under his tutelage and showed him how to dig for droppings.
There was no shortage of deer scat in my parents' backyard as as many as ten deer arrived almost daily to feed. They can also be seen cleaning up under the bird feeder.
Trail camera photos seemed to depict that the deer were about as happy about the snow as the goats were.
Meanwhile, a blue jay provided a little color in an otherwise white landscape.
The winter berries were definitely easy to spot.
Bitterly cold temperatures were still creating feathery frost formations. I think I have pretty much photographed all the ice and frost that I could find. (See more slideshow below).
However while the dogs and I can handle the cold weather, my camera battery didn't. Halfway through a frost photo shoot, the camera battery packed it in and quit. That's just the nature of things 'round here.
McLeod wrote that the legend behind frost was toned down a little big in Anglo-Saxon myth. "... Jack Frost became less threatening and more of a trickster figure," he penned.
To me, Jack Frost seemed to be more of an artist creating shapes and formations of beauty.
Despite the bitter cold, the woods were a shimmering sight to see. A slight breeze dislodged the frost crystals from their resting place. The camera wasn't able to capture the ethereal scene.
After reading Haby's article, I believed the frost that I photograph most would be depositional frost.
Meanwhile, I am not the only one who was in awe of Jack Frost's artistry. A few quotes from the internet echoed my thoughts.
"It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it," by John Burroughs.
"But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze," by Victoria Steele Logue.
Another quick google search turned up the saying clear moon, frost soon.
As Mother Nature seemed to have a love hate relationship with Jack Frost recently, it doesn't seem that will stop him from creating his crystals.
That's just the nature of things 'round here.
"The Nature of Things" features the writings and photographs of Anna Applegate, who is a lifelong resident of Pinegrove Township, Venango County. She is a graduate of Cranberry High School and Clarion University. After a 15-year career in the local news industry, she made a change and now works at a steel finishing plant in Sandycreek Township. She is a avid lover of animals and nature, and a gifted photographer.