If this is global climate change, count me in!
We do love us a good, batten-the-hatches snowfall. One that closes the schools and shuts down the state office buildings, as in 1991. (Remember a co-worker who drove in to Madison all the way from Beloit only to find the doors locked.) Last year at this time the snow was already piled high around Blaska Stately Manor. Then again, last year Halloween was without snow.
Wednesday’s (12-25-19) high was recorded at 55º F. A fresh snow is lovely but so are the gentle browns out there today. Makes for darn good outdoors weather, which the Old Squire using to walk off some of the ham and chocolate martinis so tempting this time of year. Our smartphone Pacer app recorded 4,948 steps yesterday, Christmas Day — most of them at the University of Wisconsin’s Arboretum here in Madison WI. (Consult the lovely map.)
We entered off Seminole Hwy, parked at the first gravel parking lot and hiked through Curtis Prairie before turning north, where we skirted the lovely visitor’s center for the Longenecker horticultural garden. The latter is usually a springtime visit to take in the flowering crabapple trees, magnolias and lilacs. But their winter forms reveal wizened fruits and shapely interests. We headed up the hill through the pines, junipers, and spruces, thence out to the road (McCaffrey Drive) where the few motorists gave right-of-way to bicyclists and impossibly thin runners wearing their costly, specialized jogging wear.
Our walk measured 1.6 miles over 46 minutes. Hey, we’re starting slow and building up to more. All of that negated only a couple of Moscow Mules, according to the app. We once strapped on our vintage, wooden cross country skis almost daily. The south portion of the Arboretum, on the other side of the Beltline, offered gentle hills and a combination of deep woods and open grasslands. But those lovely skis are gone, replaced by a growing waistline.
There remains plenty of Arboretum to visit, places like Gallistel Woods and the walk on Arboretum Drive on the south shore of placid Lake Wingra. Maybe today. Weather looks good. Baby’s got new shoes.