We took our walk yesterday – the dogs and I – off the road and through the woods to the east on trails that have been impassible since December, clogged with deep snow.
Some winters the temperatures drop and stay cold long enough to let a hard crust form on the deep snow. Then, I can walk far into the woods, to places I’d never dare venture without my footprints to guide me home.
Not this year.
We got plenty of snow this Winter, here on Beaver Island. We had cold, too, of course…but not extreme temperatures for days on end. The snow stayed soft, often slushy. Sometimes the little dog would run gleefully across the surface, chasing some scent or another, teasing me by refusing to come when I called. The bigger dog would usually break through, and find herself in snow too dense to walk in. Me, too.
Certainly it’s a workout, trudging through deep snow, but it’s not the type of exercise I want. It’s hard on the joints, and travel is too difficult to go any great distance. I prefer an easier walk at a better pace, where I can enjoy the fresh air and the antics of the dogs, and not be too exhausted to do anything else when I’m done.
The snow is melting, though.
There are pools and puddles where the snow has turned to liquid faster than the earth can absorb it. There are huge swaths of bare ground. In fact, I carried my camera in order to document the last of this winter’s snow.
It may have been a bit early; the forecast is now calling for more of it this weekend.
Still, it was a nice walk through an area I haven’t seen for a few months.
We took the trail that runs parallel to my house, back through the woods on the old logging road to the little hunting camp. There’s a pond behind the cabin, where a pair of Sandhill Cranes spend their Summer. I was anxious to see if they’d arrived yet this Spring. In the Fall, the course grass grows so tall and densely around the pond, it’s not possible to get close to the water. Summer, the mosquitoes keep me out of this area most days.
Spring is the time for this walk.
The pond is still covered mostly with ice. There is still snow in the woods. I did not see the birds that I was looking for.
Yet…the trees have buds at the ends of their branches that will soon open into leaves.
Two robins kept me entertained as they hopped around the yard.
Squirrels chattered and dashed around from tree to tree, keeping the dogs busy with chasing games.
And…near the pond, I’m sure I heard the frogs!
Whatever the forecast brings this weekend, Spring is close upon us here!