Cold and soggy on a trail that angles along the shoreline of a slough. Trees are dark, leathery with a few dried leaves clinging tightly to branches. The muddy earth smells of winter decay, as remaining patches of green grass turn brown.
Along the marshy blue slough a sign stands sentry to warm of deep water. Below the surface the slough provides sustenance to marine life that can still reach the surface, not yet covered by ice, for air and sunshine.
No worries, I’m happy to walk the trail and not enticed to take a dip. But I’m not looking forward to removing the mud from my hiking boots.