Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowshoeing a Winter Wonderland

Hi Everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with lots of special times with family and friends. After the holidays are over it feels like winter is really here and we hunker down for the long haul. There are some things that make this time of year very special; for me and Diane it is snowshoeing.

We live in a cabin about 11 miles north of Ely on the Echo trail. Certainly nothing fancy, but it sure is a special place to us. We have miles and miles of forest behind our cabin for snowshoeing. It is pretty cool to walk out the cabin door, put on the snowshoes and head out for a quick walk or take a backpack and head out for the day.

We have had a fair amount of snow lately and it has turned the woods into a winter wonderland. Snow clings to the trees and the white and red pines look more majestic than ever. The small birches and aspen are bent over with the weight and even though we know they will pop back up again in the spring, we wonder if they will ever stand straight again.

On the trails, the snow laden alder brush droops over and forces us to duck and in some cases almost crawl through a tunnel, that is guaranteed to deposit snow down your neck.

It is fun to look for tracks in the snow and identify what kind of animal have been here before us. We identify deer, snowshoe hare, red squirrels, mice, fox, pine marten. We always are hopeful to see wolf tracks and recently saw several sets of tracks that indicated that at least three or four wolves had passed by. A few years ago we saw some lynx tracks that were really cool.

As we make our way back to the cabin it is always a treat to see wood smoke curling out of the chimney and look forward to a cup of tea or hot chocolate as we savor the blessing of living in the north woods.

I took some photos on our last outing. It was an overcast day, so the lighting was not too good, but at least you can get a feel for the beauty of the woods. I hope you can get outside and enjoy winter wherever you are.
Bert Heep

Diane has some competition for being the most beautiful thing in this photo.

Here I am standing beneath what we like to call our "Grandfather Pine". This beauty is just a short distance from our cabin. Diane and I have stipulated that we want some of our ashes to be spread at the base of this old guy.

I made sure I didn't disturb the snow as I ducked under this branch.

Fresh deer tracks point the way.

No comments: