We finally bestirred ourselves from our winter torpor yesterday and went for a sunny walk in the Edgewood College woods and the nearby boardwalk along Lake Wingra.
The fresh snow from the day before was was still pristine and white. The weather was mild, the sun was bright and felt warm and optimistic. We were startled by the panoramic view of the entire lake from the boardwalk, a view that's obstructed by a wall of marsh grasses and cattails in summer and fall.
Even more startling was this pool of open water near the shore of the smallest of Madison's lakes, which is mostly frozen solid this time of year. It's spring water. The local blog Unseen Madison has more:
Lake Wingra has open water here because of a spring. New Millennium spring, located near the boardwalk at Edgewood College, appeared in 2000. Lake Wingra’s springs may explain why it was at the center of an incredibly dense concentration of effigy mounds. About 8 of the lake’s original 30 springs still flow -- reduced groundwater affects spring output.After all the grim gray and dirty white of January, the little blue pool of open water was a delightful foretaste of things to come, contrasted by the snow and ice on all sides.