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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Making a Snow Angel at Tobyhanna Lake

No, that's not a dead or injured Kathy.  That's a snow angel in the making.  Our day today inspired her to do it, and you'll see the result further down in this blog entry.

This was the second snowfall for little Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, where we are hunkering down against Covid-19.  It wasn't supposed to be much.  The weather forecaster said, "Perhaps the higher elevations will get some snow...a dusting...maybe an inch."

You know the rest of the story.  We got almost 2 inches of very light, powdery stuff!  We wanted to be the first to scuff through it at Tobyhanna Lake, so, around 1:00 pm, we went out to get in the Jeep.  ...Wait...oh, yeah...we have to shovel before we can take the Jeep out of the driveway.

So shovel we did.  David led the way, but Kathy quickly joined in after snapping this action photo:

Perhaps a half hour of shoveling later, and we were on our way.  We put the Jeep in 4WD because the roads had not yet been plowed to any real extent.  To demonstrate how slippery the roads were, Providence put in our way, at the main intersection near our cottage, an SUV who must have been overconfident in making the turn onto the main road from our side road.  It was down in the ditch across the main road, slammed into a row of small trees.  Okay, warning noted.  We drove a prudent 25 mph in 4WD up to Tobyhanna Lake.

Even knowing how much snow had fallen, we were not prepared for what we saw at the lake.  The last week or two resulted in a light freeze on the surface of Tobyhanna Lake -- enough to hold all of this light snowfall and make the lake look ready for any ice skaters who might be brave enough to test the frozen surface:

We were not here to skate -- or to fall through the ice.  We sought out the loop trail around the lake.  Our glance at the trail sign told us we had about 1.5 inches of snow to shuffle through as we set out on our 2.5 mile walk:

We did not dare hope that we would be the first ones on this new snow...but we were!  The trail lay before us in all its pristine glory.  The only tracks that preceded us were several bunny trails across the path:

In the snow, with the dark, bare winter trees, any color stands out.  Our hunter-orange garments were nearly blinding.  But there were other splashes of color along our path, such as these beautiful blue blazes:

We couldn't resist pausing at Ruthy Puppy's favorite bench.  It was hard to tell where the shoreline ended and the lake began:

Just in case you were thinking of fishing, take note of this sign.  We couldn't determine if this also prohibits ice fishing further out.

The lake is fed by Tobyhanna Creek, to which we hiked; but it is also spring-fed, and it was easy to spot the springs because each was like a reverse black hole, creating its own galaxy of liquid water in a space of snow and ice:

We reached the turnaround point of our walk -- the bridge over Tobyhanna Creek where it lets into Tobyhanna Lake.  The stream was dressed in a seasonally appropriate garment of snow:

After pausing at these woods on this snowy afternoon and thinking of snow poetry, we turned back from where we had come.  

All the complicated details

of the attiring and

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.

"Winter Trees," by William Carlos Williams

The only tracks we encountered were our own from our walk out:

Reaching the Tobyhanna Lake beach, Kathy volunteered to make a snow angel.  David, being the braver and more fun-loving of the two, volunteered to be the photographer.  So Kathy lay down on the snow and spread her snow-jacket wings.  She sprang from the snow and this is the result of her work:

Pretty good for the year's first snow angel, we'd say.

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