Although this post says it is Week 50 of the Nature Photo of the Week challenge, in reality it's the last week of December. I didn't keep up with the weekly photos during the December despite the beautiful, mild weather.
Most of the time, ironically, I spent indoors getting caught up on projects or volunteering.
So, it's December 27th today - a frigid day in Minnesota - although quite typical for this time of the year.
After spending most of the day planning the next few months of homeschooling, I wanted to take a break and go outdoors.
Cooper knew the minute I closed the laptop and headed for the closet to get a pair of socks that something exciting was happening.
He could barely contain himself. "Bubbly" doesn't even capture the enthusiasm he had for going on a walk. Aspen, too, was excited about being able to explore the road side...all those interesting smells that the backyard doesn't hold.
We made it down past the neighboring farm and began walking between a couple of fields - usually corn before it it's harvested in November.
We didn't make it down to the end of pathway (where the cornfields end and there's an open area now covered with snow). That area is alfalfa. Surrounding it - in late summer - are milkweed plants and clover. A couple of summers ago, I walked with the dogs along that pathway and there were so many monarchs gathered on the plants. It was like a meeting area, in a way. A rest stop on the journey south. The one time I didn't have my camera with me...it was when there were so many vibrantly-colored monarchs all around me - that beautiful orange against the deep green grass was breath-taking.
Anyway...it's a different season now. Much colder. The dogs' paws get cold so walks are shorter. But the enthusiasm for getting out and exploring doesn't lessen.