Travel & Outdoor
Country Extra

Country Extra January 2018

See more of America's countryside with every issue of Country EXTRA!  Country EXTRA is delivered in between your issues of Country.  Celebrate the people, places and stories that make country life so special. Discover America through first-hand reader visits with country folks, full-color photos, reviews of country inns, country-fresh recipes and time-saving tips and shortcuts.

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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
look to the stars

TO SAY MY MOOD HAD SOURED was an understatement. My hiking group had just reached camp after a day-long trek into the Grand Canyon; I was tired and unprepared to fight with a self-inflating sleep pad that would not inflate. Sensing my frustration, our guide came over. But instead of helping me, she said, “Marija, look up!” I did and snapped right out of it. Overhead the night sky shone with more stars than I ever knew existed. It was the celestial map I imagine ancient sailors once used to navigate the way home. If you are blessed to live in the country, you can walk right out the front door and see such a sky. But in many areas, light pollution hides the wonders of our galaxy from the naked eye.…

1 min.
country online!

Find all sorts of extras from Country readers on Facebook, rd.com and Instagram. If you aren’t following us regularly on social media or visiting rd.com, here’s what you’re missing. Kim French’s new puppy, Ruby, meets snowflakes. facebook.com/countrymagazine We posted this image of a horse looking for something green beneath the snow. Thank you, Jane Somero, for sharing the photo. instagram.com/country. magazine Make the most of a snow day. To learn how to build a snow fort with your kids or grandkids, visit: rd.com/snowfort…

1 min.
everyone has a story... what’s yours?

LIFE IN FOCUS Our talented readers take amazing photos of country life. If you’re a shutterbug with images to share, send them to us. And please tell us a little about what’s going on in the photo. Themes we are looking for include winter snow play, beloved pets and fun on the farm. HOLIDAY FUN Before you pack up the decorations, take a few minutes to share your memories with Country! Tell us how your family embraces the festive traditions, customs and fun of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and more. Please pass along your favorite photos and stories. SPRING FORWARD The season of renewal is welcome across the country, with colorful blooms, nesting birds, baby animals and lush greenery. Show us why you love spring with stories and photos of seasonal activities such as planting, collecting…

1 min.
yellowstone in winter

Snow makes the wild landscape of Yellowstone National Park appear even more undiscovered, as my husband, Scott, and I learned while cross-country skiing past waterfalls in the Mammoth Hot Springs area. In summer, the falls fill the air with a deafening roar, but in winter they are silenced by the thick block of ice through which the water still moves. Scott and I slid by steaming hot springs that, despite their temperature, had snow cover right to the very edges. We slipped into the trees where the trail climbed so steeply that for a little while we had to sidestep in our skis to get up the hill. Then we were at the top, where the trees gave way to an open meadow. By ourselves in swirling white, we saw a bison…

1 min.
a moonlight skate

AS I WORK the arena footing of my barn, I am reminded of another surface that I took pride in working back in the day—new ice. I lived in the small Michigan town of Wacousta, which had a park along the Looking Glass River where we played baseball in the summer. In the winter, the town plowed back the snow and made a skating rink. I volunteered to help. The crew and I waited until late at night when the temperatures dropped, and then we flooded the rink with water from the river. We laid down a layer, waited for it to freeze and then sprayed water all over. We did this several times until the ice was clear, flat and ready for the next day’s skaters. When everyone went home, I…

1 min.
dining out

I took this photo of an inquisitive squirrel the morning after six inches of snow fell. Not many animals are around in the winter except for the birds and squirrels. It’s nice to watch them when they come around. After filling the bird feeder, I threw some seeds out for the squirrels so they’d leave the feeder alone. Then I sat at the dining room window with my camera and waited for the birds so I could take photos. This squirrel had dug a hole in the snow, and I captured the moment when it peeked out and snatched up the seeds I had left for it.…