Category Archives: Hill Dog Image

Ice Air

ice_air

It’s not uncommon for limbs and twigs to wear a coating of ice when a rain is followed close on by freezing air.

Sometimes, even after seemingly clear weather, the cold causes the last bit of humidity in the air to cling to any exposed surface.

Such the case last week when temperatures fluctuated above freezing, then plummeted to near zero. The cold air has allowed an extraordinary amount of snow to be made on The Big and Friendly; skiing this week has been spectacular.

 

South Knob Hallstead Hill

south_knob_hallstead_hill

The road leading out of Elkdale follows the Tunkhannock creek along the valley floor before beginning its climb on Lyon Street toward Elk Mountain.

As it is not part of any convenient route from from the outside world to The Hill, this side of the neighborhood, one of the most picturesque, is often unseen by visitors to the area. 

Growing up near Clifford, this was the path brother and his friends drove to go skiing. Most times, even if reluctantly, I’d be allowed to go up on the mountain with the ‘big kids’.

At that time, countless blissful days were spent skiing in blue jeans that, if new enough, would scuff out a patch of blue dye on the snow when gravity got the best of you.

Even though young, our legs would ache after a full day of adventure and exploration skiing with friends on the mountain’s cold, snowy slopes.

Near dark, we’d careen home along this ‘back way’ to the mountain. With “Mountain” rock and roll blaring too loud, from the back seat I’d watch through tired eyes as brother’s little convertible nearly skimmed off the deep walls of snow cut by the snowplow through impossibly deep snowpacks.

To home, home at last.

We’d peel off our soggy blue jeans, and be allowed to wear our long johns to the dinner table.  

The warmth and comfort of a big steaming bowl of pasta served up by Mother would conspire with the fatigue of our growing bodies, causing our eyelids to droop as we barely made it from the table to under the covers, tired, joyful, contented.

 

 

Refuge

Refuge

Soon after dawn, these girls, along with about a half dozen of their friends sidled along the far side of the stone fence.

At first, it was uncertain if they meant to bed down along the wall hoping to somehow pass the day safe and unnoticed, or were making themselves inconspicuous on their way to someplace else.

Several minutes, and several doe passed, turned, and  branching off of the cross-country ski trail, headed into thicker cover.

Before the last one disappeared, their young buck, seeing all was safe, emerged from the mist at the edge of the clearing.

His spikes at first, shown white and raw only recently having had the velvet scraped off, then faded, almost ghostly, as he disappeared back into the grey of morning.

Dog Snow

dog_snow

Last week’s weather left several inches of snow in the neighborhood. For the first time since the winter before last, finally, Dog Snow.

Dog Snow is characterized by being plenty enough so cross-country skis don’t scrape rocks on the trails, yet not deep enough to hinder raucous joy of four legged companions along for a ski.

Just around belly height of a Labrador retriever seems to be just about right.