Dozing polar bear, Indianapolis Zoo

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seasonal affective disorder

This is perhaps the worst time of year for me to be writing a blog designed to feed my preoccupation with nature.

Any proper nature lover knows the world is just as alive in the winter as the other three seasons, and that you're a mere dilettante if you only love the outdoors when it's pleasant outside. But it's hard. My favorite peaks and trails are under ice or drifts of impassable snow at this time of year. The valley is like a wet rag, and the world often looks like nothing so much as an underexposed photograph.

It's hard to live in the Willamette Valley this time of year. Snow, already! Snow, so at least I can whish through powder under dark green evergreen boughs during the appallingly short daylight hours. Please, snow?

No. Well, at least I can drive an hour east to Mt. Hood if I want to do that.

But it's really the grave shortage of sunlight that wears and dulls my mind and spirit, sapping my energy and my will to seek a happy place outdoors. It will be much easier at the Ranch for Christmas, when all I have to do is walk out the front door. There's a path branching off from the road I've been meaning to explore. I'm told it winds all the way around the mountain. I'll ski it and see where it goes.

Then I'm getting the hell out of here and going to Florida in January.

I need a serotonin infusion. Plus, I need to do some bird photography in the Everglades.


Larry said...

Winter and a foot of snow came early to NE Missouri and I'm going through withdrawal as well. No more fungi or flowering plants for a while!

Thoreau once wrote in his journal something like "February can make a man eat his heart out."

You left a comment at my blog and curiosity led me hither. I've been enjoying yours!

Trailhead said...

Larry, your post was perhaps my favorite of the Tree Festival. As a confirmed fungiphile, I found it endlessly absorbing. And there's such a poetry to these things.

Stay warm in the snow and may there be no eating of hearts.

Thanks for coming over!