January 1, 2015

January 1st, 2015, 3pm

I prepared to inaugurate 2015 with a photograph. I adjusted the parameters on my computers for storing and processing in this new year.

I layered up to venture outside in the late afternoon sun: wool socks, woolen long underwear, fleece-lined jeans, a polypropylene shirt (with the slight odor of past wearings) under a vest, a hat with ear laps that tie down, topped by an old, well worn winter coat with a hood. I pulled on boots and leather mittens with wool liners.

And I stepped outside.

Windswept! For many years I lived in the forest which moderated the wind; now I have the vast expanse of Lake Superior to the east and Superior Bay to the west. Nothing stops the frigid wind but my body. It’s twenty degrees warmer than yesterday but still well below freezing.

I wandered about, examined the ice on the bay, greeted another gentleman bundled in layers, and marveled at the Mallard Ducks sleeping with downy feathers fluffed at the edge of water kept open by a bubbler.

The old water mains would provide too little pressure out here to fight a fire should any of the many wooden houses catch fire. The bubbler keeps a small pond of water open for the fire departments pumps.

Mostly only the Mallards ever use it. They sleep by it on the ice when they fly back from the railroad sidings. The railroads bring corn, wheat and soy beans from farms in the mid-west to the grain elevators that line the harbor. A little falls out of box cars for the ducks.

A few gusts of 20 mph wind send me back inside after just two captures with the camera. The camera works fine well below zero; my bare fingers do not!

I’m out of hot chocolate, so after de-layering, I pour an glass of wine. I watch the ducks outside my window as the western sky glows ruddy and the first day of 2015 falls into a very cold darkness.

David Wade, Shu and Chris said thanks.

Share this moment

Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

Create a free account

Have an account? Sign in.

Sign up with Facebook