The first big challenge of a sunny Saturday was avoid the most slippery of ice, formed during overnight cold from a series assorted lakes formed from the previous afternoon's melting.
Those surfaces were so slick the dogs even fell down while trotting over them.
The overnight cold, though, opened up another opportunity: snow so solid that even humans could walk across its top layer.
That realization brought me back to a thought that dawns on me from time to time: it's the little things that sometimes make the biggest difference.
To walk across our front lawn without sinking into the snow was pure Heaven, especially with a warm morning sun shining above.
So, while dogs played, I just walked back and forth and across and back and forth again. Later, I decided to make that temporary situation productive. I went to the shop and brought out a pruning saw for removing all the new starts from our small apple tree.
Then, back to the shop for pruning shears for the smaller plum tree which never produces fruit but still needs pruning.
As I worked, the sun kept shining and eventually the snow softened. By the time I started on the quince bush, my boots had begun sinking down into the snow again, but I finished the job.
All the while with each pruning session, three dogs hung around hoping for me to throw or kick their ball. They are patient dogs.
With those projects completed, it was picture time, so off I drove with my camera, stopping by my sisters where my brother was visiting and later snapping a quick photo of CB as he ate the fence.
This would be a back road trip, 'cept for HWY 95, I decided AND I even went down a new road: Brown Creek Road.
Before Brown Creek, I stopped at the Samuels Store for a photo of the snowy Selkirks at the backdrop of Walsh Lake.
Then, on to Mountain Meadows Road near Naples where I remembered there's a magnificent view of Roman Nose Mountain, which was looking mighty splendid yesterday.
On Brown Creek Road, I saw new territory and a reminder in one stretch that I hadn't seen the usual ubiquitous deer for a while.
On down the road, in one opening, an elk stood on a hillside just a few feet away from a deer. I'm sure both were out soaking up the sun.
Brown Creek Road eventually leads to Paradise Valley southeast of Bonners Ferry. Hard not to see all kinds of magnificence while driving through this rich farming area.
Later, I stopped for coffee at a convenience store in Bonners Ferry and then moved on toward home on the old highway which goes through the Deep Creek area toward Naples.
I love that stretch of road any time during the year. Seems I say that a lot about a lot of places around here. We are so blessed with pockets of natural beauty pretty much everywhere.
Finally, as always on our road going home, a definite hint of spring appeared ahead of me, three riders out enjoying their horses and the afternoon air.
I pulled past and snapped their photos and enjoyed a brief visit.
Yup, spring is definitely springing, and today we should see even more significant melting.
Probably no more walking on top of snow! And, that's okay with me.
We're also fully tuned in mentally to another happening which takes us directly toward full-fledged spring: March Madness.
It's Selection Sunday, and we'll be learning this afternoon on TBS at 3 p.m. PDT where Gonzaga is headed in the Big Dance.
We want spring to come soon, but we also want the ZAGS to dance and dance and dance to the Final Four.
The last game they play each year signifies in our family the official beginning of spring. If that game comes in early April, we can deal with it.
Happy Sunday. GO, ZAGS!