by Laura Crum
We’ve been riding quite a bit this winter, as the weather has been great. 60 degrees and sunny, most days. I know we need rain, but the truth is we can’t influence the weather by wishing or complaining…so I’ve just been enjoying it. And I’ve been meditating on what is so special about these winter rides.
Its the light. Pure and crystal-clear and sharp, winter light is like no other light. Illuminating the bare trees and dark water—a chilly, brilliant sparkle. Look at the photos below, taken from Sunny’s back on a recent trail ride, as I follow my son on his sorrel horse, Henry, following our friends on two dark horses, down the side of the canyon to cross the creek at the bottom. Doesn’t the light just speak to you?
Of course, much as I love the winter light, I delight equally in the soft green/gold light of spring, and the mellow, full-bodied, dreamy light of summer. Oh, and I love the long, golden slant of autumn light. I cannot say that I have a favorite season. I can say that I love the brilliant light of winter.
I guess light is a subject best illustrated with images rather than words. So here are a few more winter moments from my world with horses.
My barnyard at morning feeding.
Winter roses—this is Crepuscule, that reliably blooms this time of year in my garden, shot from Sunny’s back. The name sounds ugly in English, but means “evening” in French.
My son took this photo of his horse, Henry, coming up our driveway after a ride on New Year’s Day.
Riding down the trail on my fuzzy little yellow horse on a misty day last week. The light is softer, but still has that frosty-white quality.
How about you guys? I know you live in many very different climates—is there anything special about riding in the winter for you? Or is winter just a huge negative, and riding pretty much impossible, or unpleasant at best?
My trail riding here in the winter usually gets shut down by rain. Our trails are all hilly, and if they’re wet they can be slick. And I am, let’s face it, a big baby about conditions. I want to feel safe and uhmmm, reasonably comfortable. So I won’t go riding if its too cold or very windy, or, oh well, you get it. Feel free to call me a wimp.
Today is supposed to be sunny and 65—I’m off to ride the trail that goes down the canyon to Aptos Creek (shown in the first three photos). It’s a nice ride on a reasonably warm day. Since it goes through the redwood forest, it’s a little too cool and shady most winter days. But we’re not having a normal winter (so far). And I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Happy trails!