Today is Jan. 1, the start of a new year.
My day began quietly, with me waking up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. The sky outside was dark and overcast, with no sign of the rising sun. I fed my dogs and let them outside, although they didn't want to stay out for very long.
I went back to bed for a few minutes, then got up, retrieved the newspaper and made a cup of hot tea. Then it was time to walk the dogs. They have long hair, but their coats are not very thick, so I anticipated a short walk.
The dogs, however, had other ideas. They thoroughly enjoyed their walk, and we continued on for 2 miles. As we walked, I realized that we were the first creatures to walk along some of the roads and paths.
On others, I saw tracks of rabbits, jack rabbits and a coyote. The only sounds I heard, aside from the crunching of my boots on snow, were the calls of sand hill cranes and the cawing of crows.
Despite the 19-degree temperature, I didn't feel cold. The wind was calm and my part of the world was quiet and clean. As we neared home, a coyote crossed the road ahead of us but didn't seem to notice us. Thankfully, my dogs didn't see it as it slipped among the desert plants on an undeveloped lot.
This is my favorite way to start a new day and a new year -- quietly and gently, with glimpses of the animals that share this corner of the planet with me.
I wish you all a wonderful, peaceful, happy 2015.