Hudson Valley, Mental Health

Ode to Winter’s Blue Sky

January 30, 2014
Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

The frozen Hudson River this afternoon.

Today, the blue sky, sunshine, and a walk to Saugerties Lighthouse gave me the boost I needed. I’ve been in a funk this week. I want to hibernate has been my refrain to Andy.

When your job is taking care of a four-year-old, however, hibernation isn’t exactly an option. So I decided to do the opposite this afternoon and take advantage of the bright, blue day. I announced We’re going on an adventure!, made sure coats were zipped and mittens were secured, and we had ourselves a mood-lifting walk along the Lighthouse Trail.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Our adventure awaits!

The cold and lack of color is precisely what keeps us snuggled up indoors in the wintertime. In the spring, nature’s greenery arrives and we rejoice. In the summer, we take sunshine and blue sky for granted because we are blessed with them most of the time. And in the fall, everyone wants to get outside and appreciate the colorful foliage and outdoors before winter comes.

As soon as I stepped outside today, I felt myself becomes brighter, more alert and purposeful. Blue sky! Not gray, not overcast, no low clouds in sight. I felt brand new! Yesterday I said to myself Everyday is a new beginning, and today it actually felt that way.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Boardwalk + snowy woods: not an everyday sight.

The starkness of winter only helps to accentuate the rare blue sky even more:  bare trees, clean snow, and icy river are all perfect contrasts.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

I loved those tree shadows.

Even though it was quite cold today, I loved our walk next to the Hudson. The sunshine probably played as much into my lifted mood as the blue sky did. When it’s sunny, it’s fun to explore the sheets and chunks of ice, marveling at the layers and myriad shapes. On our usual overcast days, the nuance of nature’s details are typically lost.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

We loved watching the sheets of ice spontaneously crack and shatter.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Those huge ice chunks broke up nicely into small, throw-able chunks

And who needs toys when nature provides plenty of ice chunks to throw out into the frozen river? We broke up the larger pieces and took turns, cheering when we made a hole or sent countless tiny ice particles skating across the surface.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Upside to nature walking on a cold day: you’re the only ones there!

Sometimes we raced each other, and sometimes we walked side-by-side, content to sing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” with the creaking ice as our accompaniment.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

These acted as our “sweepers” along the trail 🙂

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

The old hold-something-up-to-the-sky trick.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

At last, after a 1/2 mile walk, our treasure!

A great excerpt from this New York Times article about the color blue:

According to psychologists who explore the complex interplay of color, mood and behavior, blue’s basic emotional valence is calmness and open-endedness, in contrast to the aggressive specificity associated with red. Blue is sea and sky, a pocket-size vacation.

I couldn’t agree more.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

The lighthouse tower was built in 1869 and is 42 feet tall. I love the Italianate architectural style!

Life is best when you’re giving yourself opportunities to shift: to move, to see things differently, to step away from stagnancy. I am constantly re-learning that if I want to feel better, or change my perspective, I need to do something about it. Make something happen!

Step outside and create adventures: sort of my unofficial goal for the next month. Care to join me?

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

These spiky seed pods are scattered by the dozens along the Hudson River.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

It was strange walking along the boardwalk when there’s usually water gently lapping underneath.

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

The scenic picnic area on the other side of the lighthouse. A thermos of hot chocolate would have been nice…

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

I actually got this kid to stand still long enough to take a picture! Incredible!

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Sunlit ice bubbles.

Are you noticing any of winter’s beauty lately?

Ode to Winter's Blue Sky - Sweet and Savoring

Clean snow makes for such a nice backdrop.




I thank you…for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.    –e.e. cummings

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  • brett January 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

    oh that ice bubble shot is cool! we don’t have a river to walk that close to nearby but we do go on adventures regularly. it’s good to get outside even for 20 minutes

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thanks, Brett! It’s harder to remember to go on adventures in the winter, but it’s so important to mental and physical health! Appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  • Rosey January 30, 2014 at 1:12 am

    The blue sky really does perk you up a bit. I was sweeping snow off the top of my SUV (haha, it’s the only way I can reach the top) and I felt so chipper. It was then I realized the sky was blue for a change, and the sun was out (sun!!). 🙂 It was a nice moment.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

      It’s crazy how novel the sunshine feels in the winter, isn’t it? I’m hoping we get more days like that soon!

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy) January 30, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Awww, what a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter. I follow the same rules that the schools follow – 32 degrees and higher & we’re outside.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Robin! I never heard that rule before- this kid’s parents, and I, are super into outside time, so we’re out even when the temp’s in the teens! Three pairs of socks (one is wool), regular pants, snow pants, fleece top over some other tops…I usually get too warm once we’ve thrown enough sticks or traipsed long enough in the woods 🙂

  • Tracey January 30, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Beautiful pictures. I really liked the ones with the lighthouse.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, Tracey! It was a great day for photos.

  • beth January 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I love this. <3

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Why thank you dear! <3

  • Amy @ Long Drive Journey January 30, 2014 at 9:24 am


    Life is best when you’re giving yourself opportunities to shift: to move, to see things differently, to step away from stagnancy.

    And I absolutely love the picture of the frozen bubbles. Sometimes it’s life’s little gifts, right?
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Raw BeautyMy Profile

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Absolutely, Amy! And I never would have seen those frozen bubbles if I hadn’t made up my mind to go out and do something different yesterday.
      Glad you liked this 🙂

  • Sue January 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Glad you’re looking at the bright side of winter. It’s not easy when it’s single digits out there! I’m excited that it’s not dark at 5 when I leave work anymore! Yay for more daylight.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

      It’s not easy at all. But I’ve been noticing that it’s not dark at 5 anymore, too- a tiny thrill in the middle of the freezing cold!

  • Christina S January 30, 2014 at 9:57 am

    The ice bubbles are sooo pretty. I would love to get and look at all our snow here, but it’s currently -1 according to my phone. Way too cold for my 2 year old and 3 month old. 🙁

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Thank you 🙂 You’re right- single digits and negative especially are just too much! I hope the temperature rises soon for you guys, but I bet you’re taking advantage of all the snuggle time with your little ones!

  • Jennifer Bullock {MommyBKnowsBest} January 30, 2014 at 11:48 am

    As much as I personally don’t like the cold weather, this is a good reminder to take my girls out to explore and learn. Thanks for sharing your great pics.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I hear you, Jennifer, I prefer hot weather for sure. Glad you like my pictures! I hadn’t used my camera in awhile, so it was nice to bring it along yesterday and have such a great subject.

  • Rhonda January 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Absolutely beautiful pictures! My 6 year old’s favorite color is blue. One day we were driving in the car and he starts telling me that there aren’t enough blue things in nature and how the world would be prettier with more blue. You had a gorgeous blue sky for your adventure!

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much, Rhonda! I think blue is the most popular favorite color to have. It makes sense considering its calming effect 🙂

  • Chrishelle January 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful adventure. The bright blue sky against the snowy white landscape is amazing. We had our first snow yesterday. My hubby must have taken 200 pics of the beautiful blanket of white.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Sometimes the whiteness is so captivating! Thanks for coming by, Chrishelle!

  • Wendy Bottrell January 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Great photos. Really does provide the feeling of the beauty in winter! And thanks for the reminder to make something happen!
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted…Should you eat oats if you have problems with gluten?My Profile

  • Kimberly Curtis January 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Blue is my favorite color for so many reasons that you have displayed in your wonderful photos!

    Thank you for sharing your uplifting day with all of us to enjoy.
    Kimberly Curtis recently posted…1950’s Valentines and Where it All StartedMy Profile

    • Christy February 1, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      You’re quite welcome, Kimberly, and thank *you* for such a nice comment!

  • 6steve5 January 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    There’s something to be said about the contrast between a clear blue sky and the brilliant white of newly fallen snow. We see that in our back yard and it always make me give thanks that I am there to appreciate it. Also, I notice that the afternoon sun is moving steadily northward compared to where it was in December, a reminder that this cold snowy winter won’t last forever.
    Love ya, Christy!

  • Chrysa January 30, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    What fun places to explore!!! With the temperatures being so consistently below zero this month we have been cooped up inside a LOT! I look forward to getting back out there

    • Jennifer @TheRebelChick January 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Eek! I can’t imagine it being that cold! But I miss out on so many winter things because we never get weather like that!

    • Christy February 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I understand, Chrysa- cabin fever is tough to deal with when it’s so unbearable outside! I hope you get some outside time soon, too.

  • Tamara January 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I think the only thing I love about winter is the photography. And seeing I through the eyes of a four-year-old helps a lot! Gorgeous shots.

    • Christy January 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Exactly! Being around a little kid as he explores nature is a whole new experience. It’s so much fun seeing what he notices.

  • Jennifer @TheRebelChick January 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    What a unique experience! I miss out on all of the winter wonderland stuff living in Miami. 🙁

    • Christy February 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Ah, but I miss out on everything Miami has to offer- such culture great nightlife, being right near the ocean, being WARM!

  • Melissa January 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    So gorgeous! I’m not a fan of winter but I do love the bright blue skies of winter!

    • Christy February 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Melissa! Those bright blue skies feel like such a reward in the winter, don’t they?

  • Jaime January 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    What a pretty walk! I love the lighthouse tower. I also love walks in the winter (as long as the temp is above 0 – this winter has been brutal!)

  • Melinda@LookWhatMomFound...andDadtoo January 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    we had bright blue skies with frigid temps the other day too. love that shot of the bubbles in the ice, very cool

  • Kecia January 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    We have gotten some snow this week – very unusual for Georgia. But it’s been nice going out and taking in the beautiful purity of the white blanket covering the ground.
    Kecia recently posted…Mama’s Favorite Ride – 2014 Kia Sorento SX ReviewMy Profile

  • Aileen Barker January 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Beautiful photos! I live in CA and while where I live it usually snows several times each winter, we’ve only had one snow all winter!

    • Christy February 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you, Aileen! This winter has been so crazy for the whole country, I think.

  • Karen Hartzell (@InTheKitchenKP) January 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    What a wonderful documentation of the walk and sharing your time together. These moments are precious and it’s great you capture them in pictures. Stay warm!

  • Paige January 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    The blue sky in winter sure is pretty. We haven’t gotten any snow so it’s nice to see other’s pictures! Thanks!

  • Janel January 30, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    An adventure is way more fun than hanging out indoors. The ice with the bubbles under it looks really cool!
    Janel recently posted…Six Fun Traditions For Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Christy January 31, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Thanks, Janel! It was particularly trying for my little adventurer to wait for me while I got those bubbles just right. I’m glad we both persevered 🙂

  • Joanna Sormunen January 30, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I love winter pictures! They are so beautiful. And these are just geourgeous. What a beautiful day!

  • Emily Smith // The Best of this Life January 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I’m glad you got out and got the fresh air and blue sky your body needed! I know how tough winter can be – I live in Ottawa, Canada…and this week has been brutal…waking up to -11 F. But, even for a few minutes, being outdoors, connecting with nature and filling your lungs with fresh air can make such a difference on ones moral. Also, I take Vitamin D like crazy, so I don’t get into seasonal mood disorder. Looks like a splendid adventure – and I love the pictures!

    • Christy February 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Exactly, Emily, it was just what I needed. Fresh air and sunshine cannot be overstated in this severe cold we’ve been having!

  • Gracielle January 30, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Beautiful photos! As much as I hate this brutal winter that we’re having in the midwest, there are bits and pieces where i stop to just think how beautiful it is. The blue skies definitely help break the winter blues!

  • Cara January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Wow how pretty! We had sleet this week, and we never get anything frozen, I think it was the first time I saw icicles in real life. I was amazed at how beautiful they were. However, once was more than enough! I’m ready for summer!
    Cara recently posted…Mardi Gras Safety TipsMy Profile

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell January 31, 2014 at 2:41 am

    The blue skies and the brightness of the snow makes me so happy! We have snow on the ground here in NC right now, but I’ll be sad when it melts.

  • Melanie January 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Great photos! I’m so ready for the snow to vanish though!

  • Amanda Love January 31, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    You got some amazing photos there and I just love your post. Sometimes we just need to take some time to smell the roses or in this case enjoy the snow. 🙂
    Amanda Love recently posted…Fashion Friday with Ugly Childrens ClothingMy Profile

    • Christy February 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Thanks so much Amanda! Appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  • Shana Norris January 31, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I just read somewhere this week that blue is a great color to have in one’s office … I agree that the starkness of winter makes the blue sky all the more lovely. And so many times the sky is grey in winter, so we’re probably even more thankful for those blue sky days. Your little charge is lucky that you take him on adventures like this. I read a post on BonBon Break a few days ago about how it really IS okay for kids to go outside in the cold. Using common sense, of course, which I know you did. My mom sent us outside all. winter. long when we were young!
    Shana Norris recently posted…What I’m Into: January 2014.My Profile

  • Cassie @ Southeast by Midwest February 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Oh that lighthouse is GORGEOUS surrounded by that snow. I bet it’s even more gorgeous during the summer time!
    Cassie @ Southeast by Midwest recently posted…January Beauty FavoritesMy Profile

    • Christy February 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Isn’t it pretty? In the summer you can go swimming right off that picnic area. But it would be super crowded, so I’m glad we were here at this time of year.

  • katherine February 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    What a fun day! Looks like you had a lot of fun exploring

  • Ashley M February 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Sometimes just getting out and active in the fresh air can make a world of difference in our day.

  • Lolo February 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    My son would be in heaven to see snow like that! Watching the ice crack would be fun too!

  • Angela February 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    This is such a lovely post. There haven’t been enough blue skies lately. It looks like you made great use of the nicer weather.
    Angela recently posted…12 Decadent Valentine’s Day DessertsMy Profile

  • Christine Ardigo February 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This even brightened my day up! Sometimes all you need is a little sun!
    Thank you!

  • Denise Gabbard February 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I am so NOT a winter person, having lived in northeast Ohio most of my life I am completely over it. But, your pictures are beautiful, and I love the Hudson River Valley 🙂 I must admit my favorite season there is fall.

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