I hadn’t been on skis in eight months, but that wasn’t the only reason for taking it slow.

Tall evergreen in snowThe frosting on bare tree limbs, evergreens and even cattails made me want to pause and take pictures.

First snow makes familiar places look fresh.

I was tooling around the Valley Country Club, I place I’ve skied for 35 years.

But even some familiar sights had changed.

I skied past the base of the toboggan hill because I didn’t recognize it, at first.A bushy tree is white with snow on branches

Trees have encroached at the top, shortening the hill.

New bushy grasses, like rough along the fairways, cover the top third of the hill. They looked like mini-moguls beneath the snow and served as brake pads for my skis.

The course had just enough snow to cover the grass, provided I stayed off the paved cartways, where snow didn’t stick.

Six miles away and six hours later, my friend went to the Hazleton rail trail, hoping to find more snow.

Instead the cover was thin so he walked instead of scratching his skis.

The next day when I went back to the golf course, he drove to New Jersey’s High Point State Park, and found the place buried in powder

“Best conditions ever,” he told me.

Frosted cattails rim a pond