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Dec-26-2008 16:47printcomments

A Day in the Snow With Angus

A winter moment can remind us all of what a beautiful season it really is.

Angus the dog in Oregon
Photo by Schellene Clendenin

(SALEM, Ore.) - Our day...

Angus and I went for a walk today. It was before the rain had started to fall, so the grass was still tall and encased in thin sheets of ice in this lonely field we waded through. The wind picked up and the air was so cold and clear you could taste the snow on your tongue. Ever hear frozen blades of grass rustle and crackle in the wind? It's almost too loud.

It was so cold. My lungs burned with it every time I took a deep breath. You know the smell of evergreen and wood smoke? It was everywhere. So clean and warm. I haven't felt more alive since I jumped from an airplane. I haven't been so cold since we lived in Indiana. I wished I'd had the sled.

Angus was covered with snow. I let him off his leash because the snow had drifted so high he was easy to catch. He jumped from pile to pile, kicking up puffs of powder behind him.

Ever see a Scotty jump into a deep pile of snow and jump back out again as fast as a deer? You would have laughed, I did. It probably made his little pink tummy cold. He was so excited to be in the middle of it. Then he'd look up at me with one ear up and the other down, his little red tongue hanging out, bright brown eyes, so cute. His brindled fur looks softer in the snow with the ice built up on the edges.

It was windy and the gusts pushed the hood off my head and snatched at us. My breath fogged the fleece around my face. It was that brittle cold you get, when you just know it's too cold to snow but you can almost smell it on the breeze. It burned in my lungs.

We saw a few squirrels, but they were on the other side of the drifts, so they were long gone before Angus got near them. They were so plump and sleek in their shiny fur and some even had chubby cheeks, so cute to watch them fill their mouths. it was a good sized field and my legs were twitching from the effort of crunching through the half frozen snow, so I'm sure Angus was feeling his efforts. I just love winter. I didn't realise how much I missed it.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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