I have taken many pictures over the past few weeks of the frozen wonderland that Atomic City has become now that winter has finally settled comfortably into the region, after a months-long and fitful start.
But words are again becoming hard to find, so those many pictures now sit in files, patiently waiting for me to post them here.
I would have to be an actual writer to declare that I have "writers block" but I am not a writer, and so the condition will simply be declared a block, and we'll leave it at that.
These pictures were taken a few days after Christmas on a day that could only be described as a grey day.
Only this was not a grey day.
This was a day in which the Loony Toon Tiny Tune Town of Atomic City was completely hidden from the rest of the world.
Hidden in a silent and frozen mist that had settled over the earth.
Or at least that is the way it feels when the world around me looks like this.
All winter I had been waiting for days like this, remembering how the world looked and how enthralled I was last year when the inversions happened and everything changed.
Every home, every fence, every tree, every gate, every vehicle in town was covered in ice crystals and were suddenly transformed into frozen works of art.
My first experience with the frozen mist last year, I walked through town in awe of how beautiful my usually mediocre town suddenly looked.
I have never gotten over that initial wonderment.
I loved it last year.
And finally I love it this year.................
My dog happily rolling in the snow in the back yard.
Which is a nice change from the rest of the year, when Kory happily rolls in any deer, cow and dog poop that she happens to find in her travels.
She had a lot of baths over the summer...............
Taken from the back yard, looking towards the next street over.
At this time of year it is easy to forget that we live in the middle of the Snake River Plain.
It is easy to forget that the world only two streets back is filled with endless sage brush and tumble weeds and acres of completely empty land.
The town looks beautiful and magical at this time of year.
I like it very much....................
After heading back into the house I began to pull my boots and jacket and hat and scarf together in preparation for taking Kory for a walk.
My dog eagerly followed me from room to room, staying close and watching me intently and with silently pleading eyes.
Smiling down at her I wordlessly stroked the top of her head and then leaned down to rub her ears.
Kissing her on top of her furry little head I pulled boots on, still not saying a word to her.
I knew from experience that if I said even one word to my dog while getting dressed, that she would begin barking hysterically.
The kind of head tossing, endless, high pitched, excited barking that hurts my ears.
And so I watched her watching me, tied up my boots, grabbed for my gloves and headed towards the front door.
As soon as I stood up Kory ran for the front door, and by the time I caught up with her she was already jumping higher than my head in excitement.
OK Baby Girl. Let's go!
This truck is located on an empty piece of property and has not moved in the 18 months that we have now lived here.
Even this big ugly beast looked wonderful when surrounded by mist, and frozen in place in the snow............
Kory and I walked down the middle of the road, content to feel like the only beings in the entire world.
As we reached the town bar I looked at the window, finally remembering to take a picture of the lighted Christmas figures the owners had set in the window for the holidays.
Only the bar was closed, and the OPEN sign, the colorful lights that surrounded the window, and the angel, snowman and Santa were all dark.
Well........so much for my bright idea to take a picture of the lights on this frozen day.
As I stood looking at the colorful plastic figures I realized that in the window I could see the reflection of
ice-crystal covered trees, that were located across the road at the little town park..................
On a day that was washed in endless shades of grey and white, this little motel (with its aging yellow exterior) was the only beacon of color in town.
In this light it looked beautiful, when in reality it is simply a chipping and slightly sad looking old cinder block building that is occupied by a lone Secret Squirrel visitor occasionally. and is completely empty usually.
I like it anyway..............
We continued to wander through our frozen-still town - me trudging awkwardly through the snow while enjoying how different and lovely our town looked, while Kory happily buried her nose in snow banks in search of who-knew-what, and then followed both coyote tracks and her own tracks in the snow.
When I look at these pictures now I remember seeing deer in these same places last year.
They are gone and I don't know where, but while I don't miss the sight of occasional people I DO miss the sight of frequent deer..................
When we arrived back at the house LC was surprisingly outside, bundled up against the cold and ice and busy putting tools from the garage into the tool box of the truck.
I unleashed my dog and set her free, hoping that she wouldn't immediately speed away from us.
Hoping that we would not have to go in search of our adventurous dog and rush to catch her before she found the chickens that run loose in one yard, or the cats that run loose in another.
She stayed close, wandering close to LC, occasionally looking over at me, taking non-verbal cues from her people to stay close.
I walked across the road and then turned back to look at Kory.
She was watching me and wanted to follow me but was unsure.
Come here Baby!
She crossed the road, walked over to me and I reached down to pet her and reassure her that everything was OK.
She was doing great, and everything WAS OK...............
I snapped a picture of the stone pillars partially buried in the snow, and then regarded them again (as I have many times), wondering whether there was an actual fence in this place at one time.
Even stone pillars looked lovely on this day...............
I wandered along the fence line across the road and Kory followed.
As I looked over at her frequently I could feel her gaining confidence.
She was gradually learning what was expected of her.
Learning what the rules were.
Learning that if she followed the rules we would trust her off leash.
Every tree was covered in frozen ice crystals - appearing full of frozen life instead of looking like the dormant and leafless trees they actually were.................
I saw a cartoon recently on LC's Facebook page that showed a middle aged man looking forlornly at his motorcycle, that sat silent in the garage because it was too cold during the winter to ride.
LC feels the same way about his fishing boat.
Right now it is sitting in the back yard, covered with a tarp, with wheels frozen in place and covered with snow.
It is calling to him to take it out on a lake - any lake - so that he can test it out...............
These frozen birds (two wood and two plastic) were found on an old wooden dog house that we took apart not long after we moved into the house.
We reused the wood and made a rustic chair rail, and a few rustic picture frames, and less-rustic crown molding in the laundry room.
The birds are now perched on old tree trunk pieces along the front fence of the yard................
We picked up this tiny camper over the summer, put shutters in the empty windows to protect the interior, and we have plans to do some work on it as soon as the weather breaks in the spring.
It is too tall to get it into the garage so we will have to wait for a few months, but both LC and I think that it will be a nice little metal tent eventually....................
Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people's legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world...........Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen