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Icy Delights

Ice Hike

Icy Hike

The ice made the grass look like sea anemones

The ice made the grass look like sea anemones

Spy Garden with a glaze of ice

Spy Garden with a glaze of ice

Ice Beads!

Ice Beads!

Deer Fence

Deer Fence

What a good boy (cleaning the bunny condos)

What a good boy (cleaning the bunny condos)

Icy Berry

Icy Berry

Icy Bunny Castle

Icy Bunny Castle

Frozen

Frozen

Crystal-y shapes

Crystal-y shapes

Circle rock

Circle rock

Icy Woods

Icy Woods

Icy spiral twig

Icy spiral twig

Sparkling stump

Sparkling stump

Icy root

Icy root

A rhino?

A rhino?

Icy turkey tail mushrooms

Icy turkey tail mushrooms

All the ice was quite mesmerizing

All the ice was quite mesmerizing

Echninacea

Echinacea

Iced branches

Iced branches

Apropos to the icy pictures is the latest thing occupying my imagination: ice swimming. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of such a thing and am totally enthralled by The Lone Swimmer and…

Lynne Cox: Who swam across the Bering Strait. As in 2.7 MILES. In 38 DEGREE WATER. That’s 38 degrees Fahrenheit. 3.3 degrees Celsius. TWO POINT SEVEN MILES!!! IN A REGULAR BATHING SUIT.

How have I never heard of such feats? I mean polar plunges are one thing but literally swimming in icy water? It is just the wildest thing I’ve ever heard. Basically the idea is that you work up very, very cautiously (e.g. starting with just a minute or so or getting in progressively colder and colder water) to longer times/colder temperatures until eventually you’re actually swimming distances in icy waters.

Sometimes you have to make your own pool (Source: @oskarinranta)

Sometimes you have to make your own pool (Source: @oskarinranta)

No one I’ve talked to is remotely interested in listening to me drone on (and on) about ice swimming. This is why I have a blog, right?! So, what do you think? Intense isn’t it? The human body is amazing and I imagine the details of what happens to your veins, arteries, heart, brain, muscles…while swimming vigorously, in say, the Missouri River in January. Or the Arctic Ocean. Terrifying! Not to mention the hazards of open water!

Exhibit A:

The Greenland Shark (which can live to 400 YEARS OLD!!!) (source of image)

The Greenland Shark (which can live to 400 YEARS OLD!!!) (source of image)

I’m daydreaming about it, but not necessarily taking it on as a new hobby. Shortly after I read about ice swimming, I hightailed it to my (indoor) pool and swam a mile in the “cold” lap pool. After 15 or so laps I was still freezing, and that was probably something like 77 degrees. If I recall I was still quite chilled when I exited the pool. I returned later in the week and couldn’t even bear to get in the thing and cheerfully chose instead the balmy lap pool (probably closer to 90 degrees).  So we’ll see. I am from south Florida after all. Though as a young girl I swam (very briefly) in a glacial lake in Norway, where I have family. Surely ice is in my blood. When I trained to be a whitewater raft guide in northern Maine in 2002 we had to regularly plunge into the freezing Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers. There was actually ice on the banks of the river in late spring. Of course, I was wearing a wet suit and several layers of fleece and not a lycra one-piece…

So when and where will my next ice swim take place?

How about here?!

How about here?! A perfect winter beach! (Wildhorse Creek)

Dexie and I have been scouting some possible locations.

Dexie and I have been scouting some possible locations.

Babyzilla says, “Just do ice swimming when you’re like 60.”

Like I said, people seem to easily tire of my enthusiasm for discussing ice swimming. Ha!

At any rate, it is exciting to learn about something new and I really want to read Lynn Cox’s books. Had you ever heard of her? Ice swimming? Ever done a polar plunge? Would love to hear your comments on this or other icy delights!

Happy 2017!

WOWZA

WOWZA

Wowza; that beach is gorgeous; and is my sister and her husband’s FRONT YARD!!!  Islands in the gulf; paradise!!! Hoping to visit in 2017!

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Globe

Globe

Garden Sledding

Garden Sledding

Hairdo

Hairdo

Hairdo

Hairdo

Wood ear mushroom

Wood ear mushroom

Playing with toys ("Lila" the horse)

Playing with toys (“Lila” the horse)

Firepit

Firepit

Firepit

Firepit

Figs

Figs

Dining room

Dining room

Table

Table

Track

Track

Dexie

Dexie

Nightstand; just finished Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway: strongly recommend!

Nightstand; just finished Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway: strongly recommend!

Couch

Couch

Lamp

Lamp

Dining room and man cave door

Dining room and man cave door

Just another day

Just another day

At Forest School!

At Forest School!

Purple fog

Purple fog

Window/Fog

Window/Fog

Dusk in the woods

Dusk in the woods

Unicorn Icycle

Unicorn Icycle

Fallen tree

Fallen tree

Driveway

Driveway

Trail

Trail

Waffles mmmmm

Waffles mmmmm

Wood ear mushroom

Wood ear mushroom

Trail

Trail

Matching lights

Matching lights

Moss

Moss

Terrarium

Terrarium

Woods

Woods

Icicle

Icicle

Dry Creek Bed

Dry Creek Bed

Orchid

Orchid

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Happy new year to all! I am praying for adventures and good health; no really specific resolutions in mind this year. How about you?

Best of Spy Garden 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve! I skimmed through all the pictures of 2016 and selected all the ones that caught my eye for the composition or for the happy memories (or both)!

Winter Hike with Dexie

Winter Hike with Dexie

Hawk

Hawk

Hiking

Hiking

Early Spring

Early Spring in the woods

Spring Break in Florida

Spring Break in Florida (that is a shell egg-casing)

Pelican

Pelican; Caloosahatchee River

Goliath Grouper; Boca Grande Pass

Goliath Grouper; Boca Grande Pass

Blackberry Bushes

Blackberry Bushes

Troy, MO Forest School Canoeing Lesson (the maiden voyage of our canoe!)

Troy, MO Forest School Canoeing Lesson (the maiden voyage of our canoe!)

Buds

Buds

Tiptoing through the tulips; and that shirt! It is in 50% of photos; definitely the t-shirt of 2016!

Tiptoing through the tulips; and that shirt! It is in 50% of photos; definitely the t-shirt of 2016!

Dexie

Dexie

Yay for dirt!

Yay for dirt!

Eno hammocks are the best

Eno hammocks are the best

Wild weeds in Spy Garden; the garden mostly rested peacefully in 2016 (Shmita 2016!)

Wild weeds in Spy Garden; the garden mostly rested peacefully in 2016 (Shmita 2016!)

Tree fort upgrades

Tree fort upgrades

The best haircut of 2016!

The best haircut of 2016!

2016 was definitely the year of the houseplants; we invested in a lot of them and they are all doing great!

2016 was definitely the year of the houseplants; we invested in a lot of them and they are all doing great!

Volunteer Celosia

Volunteer Celosia

Canoeing up Centaur Chute

Canoeing up Centaur Chute

Missouri River (Centaur Chute)

Missouri River (Centaur Chute)

A great view of St. Louis at Cahokia Mounds

A great view of St. Louis at Cahokia Mounds

Turkey

Turkey

Playing in the yard

Playing in the yard

First year of football

First year of football

And the last year of the Knights (now a Tiger!)

And the last year of the Knights (now a Tiger!)

Huzzah River

Huzzah River

Maggie and Aunt Spy

Maggie and Aunt Spy

Rope Swing

Rope Swing (Huzzah River)

There's that t-shirt again!

There’s that t-shirt again!

Dahlia

Dahlia

Flower Child

Flower Child

Tussock moth caterpillars

Tussock moth caterpillars

Little Onion Bloom

Little Onion Bloom

Pumpkin success! Musquee de Maroc

Pumpkin success! Musquee de Maroc

Geese

Geese

Moochie at the fire pit

Moochie at the fire pit

Baby Bun Bun

Baby Bun Bun

Betta fish; Gronk (named after Ron Gronkowski a football player)

Betta fish; Gronk (named after Ron Gronkowski a football player)

Butkus with his namesake's card

Butkus with his namesake’s card

Loving these bunnies!!!

Loving these bunnies!!!

At Aunt Spy's Wedding; the best time!

At Aunt Spy’s Wedding; the best time!

Hygge and Koselig Holiday; the best Christmas!

Hygge and Koselig Holiday; the best Christmas!

Dexie snuggles

Dexie snuggles

Wishing you all many blessings in 2017!

Happy New Year!