As a child, I learned that sunset doesn't always mean darkness -- especially when snow covers the ground. The reflection from the snow and stars and a touch of moon provided enough light for ice skating on a creek near the house. I remember grabbing my skates and stealing away from the house in that semi-darkness.
As an adult, I still treasure winter excursions after sunset.
Christmas came early for me this year. For more than a week now, I've been able to take night walks on snow-covered ground. After dinner, I put on my hat, gloves, boots and coat and call the Border collies, who are oh-so-happy to join me as I trek across hay fields in the dark.
But, it's not quite dark. I can see the white carpet of snow stretching for miles, and the barn lights from the farms in the distance. And, I see the silhouettes of dogs as they hunt mice, run, and make snow angels.
It's this silent world of silhouettes and blacks and greys and whites that I treasure.
For at this time of year, I see few cars. In the winter cold, people come home from work and stay home.
As I walk, it seems like it is just me and the dogs, and the occasional coyote call.