Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Trails, Walks, and Past Journeys

Hey Folks, We are in the throes of winter here in Watauga. These mountains are beautiful in all seasons but, winter offers a cloak of mystery to the beauty, a call for courage to the enthusists, and a strenght of mind and energy to hike on our trails.

I have not been able to much winter hiking this year so far. We have had unusually cold weather (7 degrees as I type) and I never hike alone in the winter.

So, I thought I would share some content and links from previous winter posts for your enjoyment. If you have any notes or photos of you winter walkabouts please send them to me to share.

Trees fall in winter
pieces of nature growing
beneath our foot prints.

swhaiku 01-07-10

What is this?
Is it a track? Is this a trail marking?
(answer to be found later in this post :)
But there is beauty, and there is light, and the brightness of a crisp blue sky on a field of white is its' own reward after too many days of grey clouds and enclosing cabin fever indoors.
So I will take you along on this brief interlude
to see where I looked when I needed to look beyond
the limitations of winters' reality and recall the joy of a trail well known
and the gift it offers to all who make this journey. Remember this fence from the summer of 2009?
I saw this then when photographing the virgins bower clematis vines in blossom and commented they would be beautiful in winter too.
Soon new blossoms will push out these old seeds.
Walking in this snow is a challenge. Because of the icing sometimes you do not even crunch though the surface. That is good because there are 10 inches of snow beneath this iced crust covering. However, you may go three steps on top and suddenly punch through 10 inches deep on the next step. Keeps a spring in your knees!
That doesn't mean it is easier when you don't crunch through though. Beneath the recent snow fall the layer of ice forms a solid sheet, sometimes inches deep that is as hard to walk on as oil on glass. I keep YAKTRAX on my boots at all times when winter hiking (and yes, clip in gators or other boot gaurds are absolutely necessary).
The sweet spots are where the sun has warmed a soft spot. You can tell from this photo that the critters figured that out long before me. :-)
Nature or beauty~
Calligraphic prints in snow
~know a place to go.
swhaiku 01-07-10
Where there is one, there will soon be others, like foot prints in the snow.
By creating our trails we create passage ways into nature
and the nature of things we have forgotten.

Like, what is the next photo and what does it have to do with trails, tracks, and "soon there will be others"?
When there is one turkey, there is another, and when there are hens, there will come gobblers. Strutting their presence into the territory. Claiming these trails for their own personal glory.

The photo above shows the thump and beat pattern of a turkey gobbler beating his outstretched wings on the icy and snow to challenge is territory and herd his hens. Marking his trail.

What is this photo? Is it some turkey bird marking its territory?

Nope, but Yes! This is evidence of a big turkey slipping on the ice on the other side of the bridge. ME!!! Time to get to the car and head home.Of course, this helps us remember why it all matters too.

Here are a few links to other winter hiking posts on this blog.

Thunder Hill to Ravens Rock

Holly Holler in a Gentle Snow

Always in peace, shelton

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