Adventure doesn’t always come in the form of a towering mountain or raging river.
I try to inject a little jolt of curiosity into my life every day. Sometimes that means waking up at 4:45 a.m. and going for a run in the dark, without a headlamp. The trail looks different under moonlight, and I focus more on the sound of my feet crunching on gravel or the hooting of owls than the unspooling pathway in front of me.
Today, I woke up in the Hill Country where I’m doing some work and went for a walk. The thermometer read 25 degrees. A white tail buck stared at me as I crept outside in a cozy pair of sweatpants and an insulated jacket.
As I walked down the hill and along the road that cuts through pastures of waving grass, I noticed what at first glance looked like plastic bags wrapped around the base of a cluster of plants. I waded off into the brush to inspect a little more closely, and it turns out I was looking at the season’s first bloom of frostweed.
The scientific name for this native Texas plant is Verbesina virginica, but I know it by the common name, which it gets from the delicate coils of ice that form around its stem when temperatures drop. That’s moisture from the plant, seeping out and freezing.
To me, it looks like old-fashioned ribbon candy, an egg beater dunked in thick vanilla frosting, or a tiny cone of pure white cotton candy. (Perhaps I’m hungry? I never can tell.) When it shatters, it breaks into big flakes of coconut.
Just taking a close look at something I don’t see every day added a little spark of happiness to my morning.
I can’t wait to see what I find next.