I used to burrow indoors during January, taking myself further away from the limited sunlight that makes its way to northern Virginia this time of year. Geocaching year-round’s led me into winter wonder along the trails and waterways of Fairfax County, a world of beautiful light and vision.
The quality of light in these forests during winter is something special. The sun stays low in the southern sky and with all the leaves down the play of sunlight and shadow through the trees is fantastic. Vistas once leaf-covered open into longer views. Sound travels more freely in all directions.
This past Sunday I made my way down the Blue Trail along Bull Run to mapman132’s NoVAGO award-winning geocache, Uncached Territory (GC238VA). It was a brilliantly sunny crisp 27 degree morning. The sloppy mud I’d encountered on this trail in December was nicely frozen under my boots. In a world gone brown and gray the green of hardy moss was even more striking.
My walk to “Uncached Territory” was a gift of sight and sound, of heightened appreciation for color and distance on a trail once overwhelmed with close-in green.
Monday afternoon I walked frozen ground under power lines from Pleasant Valley Road down to Elk Lick Run in Search of Vteam’s “Confluence!” (GCTVK3). Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was even colder than Sunday had been with a bit more cloud covering the low-hanging sun. Deer flowed south under the towers as I made my way down and east to the stream.
Thanks to Vteam for enticing me on another fine winter’s walk with “Confluence!”. Monday’s light show was softer than the day before, paler but no less beautiful.
If you’re like I used to be, huddled under the covers during winter’s cold, try bundling up and stepping out into your own wide-open winter spaces. You’ll be glad you did.