Colors of Winter

“The color of springtime is flowers; the color of winter is in our imagination.” – Terri Guillemets, author

Today I decided to follow the herd of bird nerds and make a quick road trip to the migratory bird sanctuary in Alton, Illinois. A young snowy owl recently made a rare appearance, so I wanted to see if I could spot her as well.

But, true to form for these impromptu adventures, things didn’t go quite as planned.  With the exception of these two trumpeter swans a’sleepin’ and a few bald eagles out of the range of my lens, there weren’t a lot of birds to be admired. I’m wondering if the 17 degree temperatures were a slight deterrent.

But the trip was still time well spent. There was something about winter’s muted colors that grabbed my attention and held on for the better part of two and a half hours.

Especially along the four mile drive through fields leading to the confluence area of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

Moody, melancholy, and monumentally beautiful.

And here’s where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers converge. If my eyes weren’t tearing from the cold and my fingers weren’t freezing, I would’ve stayed there all afternoon.

And check this out. See this pole to the right? That little gold ball at the top shows where the rivers crested during the floods of 1993. As I stood there and looked up, I felt a surge of anxiety. To give you some perspective, the sign on that pole is above my head. The thought of that entire area being submerged was a little overwhelming.

I definitely want to make this trip again. Soon.

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