It's definitely too cold to venture out when I awake, but I'm impatient, having cut short my time yesterday. I watch the clock, the sun rising, the thermometer that's barely budging. I write a little, make my bed, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher. . . finally, at 8:30 I bundle into my layers, cover my face except my eyes, and head out on my skis. A snow mobile has groomed the Rocky Narrows trails and so I'm easily on my way and the restless dogs are cheerfully running ahead of me. Pretty soon I'm hot on the inside, cold on the outside, but pleasantly so. I'm wearing all the right layers under the blue sky and the sun is warming this world up toward zero degrees. We meet one one and seem to be the only ones out enjoying this blue-white freshness. I stop for this happy accident: a broken branch, a conifer's bright orange cone blooming from a clutch of green needles on snow.