I know I wrote that I would tell you about Monday. And I will. But as I was sorting through the next batch of photos from our second trip around the ski trails on Sunday, I realized that I hadn’t even gotten to the best part. One of the reasons we decided to take up cross-country skiing was to be able to go deep into the woods faster and with less effort than walking through deep snow. Had we been walking on Sunday, we never would have made it as far back into the woods as we went. Not just because of the difficulty in trekking through deep snow. You are not allowed to walk on the ski trails at Wilderness Lodge. It ruins them for skiing. (Reminder: You can click on any of the photos to see the slightly larger version.)
As I show you some photos from that portion of our ski adventures, I’ll tell you a little about yesterday’s outdoor walk. I was wrong about the sleet. Or at least partially wrong. There must have been some freezing rain as there was a coating of ice on everything. I took some photos, but the ice doesn’t show up well because the coating was so thin and the lighting was so terrible. It was dark and gloomy, the way it looks before a big storm.
A red-tailed hawk was flying overhead, making a big racket. Perhaps he was warning the rest of the critters about the incoming storm.
I started this post on Tuesday, by the way. I decided it to get it ready to auto-post in case of a power outage. While I am not such a perfectionist that I’ll be upset if I miss a post due to an act of Mother Nature, I had the time so I thought I might as well get a post ready. Just in case.
Getting back to yesterday’s walk, the temperature was a little warmer than we experienced during our skiing adventures but felt colder. I don’t know if that’s due to the coating of ice or if it just felt that way because of the gloominess. The snow was crunchy and most of the time I was able to walk on top of it rather than sink in as usual.
Thus ends our first skiing adventure (and yesterday’s outdoor walk). I’ll be back with Monday’s winter fun on Thursday or whenever the power comes back on if there is an outage. (I have an auto-post for that, too. I am so organized. lol!)
We still have power this morning so I’m going to get this updated and posted. When we went to bed last night the sleet was coming down pretty heavily. At some point it changed over to rain. I woke up once thinking the spring rains were upon us, complete with a rumble of thunder. Then I realized it could be freezing rain and all the happy thoughts of spring were banished for the moment.
Around 4:30am there was quite a bit of crashing going on. I thought it might be snow and ice sliding off the roof. Now I’m not so sure. There are plenty of tree limbs on the ground this morning so it may have been the trees complaining about the wind which had picked up considerably.
I am just back from today’s walk and lemme tell ya, it is brutal out there. Seriously brutal. We have sustained winds of 22 mph, gusting to up to 35 mph. There is a mixture of snow and sleet pummeling us right now, causing white-out conditions. I could barely see when I was out there trying to refill the bird feeder. Both the wind and the sleet-snow mixture sting any exposed skin. It is currently 32°F but feels like 19°F. The temperature is steadily dropping as the morning progresses. We should be down into the 20s by noon, and somewhere around 10°F tonight.
I took the camera (under my coat) but did not take any photos. I would like to have captured some of the strange looking ice formations on the shrubs. Maybe later. I’ve been known to take risks with the camera but this was too much, even for me. The wind and sleet-snow combination would not have been good for the camera, much less picture-taking.
Today’s walk was hard work. The snow is just about up to my knees in most places. It’s at hip level where the drifts have formed. Trudging through it is a good cardio and strength workout.
I was thinking that I don’t really want (or need) anything for Christmas. I’m trying to downsize my ownership of stuff. But after today’s walk I’ve changed my mind. A pair of snowshoes would be nice, especially since I am committed to getting outside every day this winter (and beyond).
M wants cross-country skis. Those would come in handy, too. I think, though, I’d feel better balanced with snowshoes. I have not yet taken the camera with me when we cross-country ski because I fall at least once, something that is probably not good for the camera.
It took me about an hour to work my way around the pond and back into the woods. Normally, when there is no snow, I could make it around in about 15-20 minutes at a brisk pace.
I saw lots of birds on today’s excursion into the great outdoors. Mostly chickadees and cardinals. There were animal tracks at the back of the pond. Having no experience with tracks or tracking, I’m not sure what they were. Birds have left their scratch-like tracks on the edges of the pond, probably looking for a drink.
That’s about it from the Bogs for today. I’m off to reward myself with a cup of hot chocolate. If you hurry over, I’ll make a mug of cocoa for you, too.