Eight of us Senior Trailblazers went out for a nice easy six-mile walk around the north shore of Lake Whatcom. Maggie took this picture of us in the sunshine at the three-mile mark. From here we walked back to our starting place, a nice, flat and easy hike. It wasn't warm, though, even with all this sun. When we started it was 27 degrees F (-5 C) and probably wasn't even above freezing by the time we got back to the cars. It didn't dampen our Christmas spirits, though, as you can tell from all the smiles.
I saw these holly leaves all frosted with ice, looking quite festive. I especially like the one towards the top that was obviously previously tasted. We started walking right around 8:30am and finished by 11:00pm, so it wasn't terribly long. Once the winter sun made it up across the nearby hills, we began to see a little sunshine, but after we turned around we went back into the shadows.
We saw more of that amazing angel hair hoarfrost, and this one (on a piece of bark held up against the light) looks like cascading waves. It's amazing that even a bit of warm breath melts this fragile ice sculpture into nothing at all. It only appears on bare bark, so the cold must pull it out of the unprotected wood.
We passed this waterfall in both directions, and on the way back some of us tried to follow a narrow trail to get a better picture, but it didn't really go anywhere, and this picture taken from the main trail is the best I was able to get. If I were to come back when it was in sunshine, I might have gotten a better shot, but it's not too bad as it is.
It was a beautiful, sunshiny day right at the Winter Solstice (which occurred last night), with long shadows mixed with dappled sun keeping the air frigid. We all headed back to the Senior Center and some of us went inside for a nice warm place to have lunch, while others went out to run errands at this busy time of the year. It is a truly lovely day outside, and I know I would not have ventured out into the cold without the impetus of joining my good friends. Wishing them, and all of you, a holiday season filled with smiles and warmth.