It’s February, and the proverbial rubber has met the road. Door County is quiet. Door County has been gray for day after day- not at all like those blue skied, blue-water days of summer. Restaurants and shops are closed; the places teeming with tourists in the summer are desolate and empty now. Are you wondering how we’re surviving our first winter?
It’s been cold, and there were a few bad weeks when ice covered sidewalks and driveways made it precarious to do much of anything outside. For two people who love being outdoors, the past few weeks have been a little tough. Despite that, we’ve found some fun this winter:
Snowshoes. This is something brand new for us. We love them. We made paths on our property that we can access right from our back door, and there are numerous public trails only minutes away by car. When the snow is new fallen and heavy on the trees, it’s a gorgeous, almost worshipful experience.
Ice fishing. I have no interest in fishing, summer or winter, spring or fall. But I am pretty impressed that on the first day that Dave decided to sit on the ice and put his line through a hole, he caught our supper.
I didn’t have my good camera with me this day, but I love this picture of him- that little speck out in the middle of miles and miles of frozen-over ice.
Winter festival. Our little town put on a festival that featured an ice hockey tournament on inland Kangaroo Lake. Sled dogs gave rides, and a beer and brat stand was open for business as early as 9 in the morning. We live close enough that we walked a half mile (on snow shoes) across the frozen lake. More than once we’ve walked on the frozen surface over water where we have previously swum and boated.
Lake Watching: And even though Lake Michigan is rarely blue these days, it is still beautiful. The harbor freezes over, then thaws and pushes ice onto the shore. There might be open water for a few days, then ice bergs form and float, then thaw and wash up. It is ever changing, and well worth the time to check the daily status.
Wildlife: We hear coyotes at night. We have a wild turkey that struts around our property, helping himself to remaining berries. Deer are plentiful. On most trips out, Dave takes his spotting scope and looks at golden-eyes swimming in open water, hawks perched in the trees. Once or twice, we’ve been lucky enough to see a snowy owl.
We read a lot. I’m in a four-week class that is discussing four books by Irish women. We’ve read and discussed a book a week. I’m in a second book club, too, so last weekend I was a bit sedentary as I plowed through three books.
Some year, we may join the “snow birds” that migrate to warmer climates for the winter. But for now, we’re adjusting, we’re coping, we’re still finding ways to love Door County, even in the cold.