January 6, 2010
A Walk in the Woods: Winter Tracks
This week has been gray, but not gloomy, with soft light reflected from ample snow. At times, snowflakes were in the air, gently floating as in a snowglobe. The temperature has been comfortably in the 20s, perfect weather for getting into the woods on my snowshoes. Yesterday was beautiful and still; I kept stopping to listen to the quiet. At a turn in the path, even the faint traffic sounds of the village were blocked and I heard nothing at all, until a crow raucously called, then a faint hum of a distant aircraft. The air smelled fresh and clean, with a faint sweetness. Snow decorated branches and trunks and was patterned with tracks.
Today I took my camera along for the walk. This is the first of two posts on today's photos. We begin with the track of my snowshoes and poles winding through the landscape.
In winter, with snow cover, I become more aware of the busy life of the woods with the clearly visible tracks of deer and other animals crisscrossing the snowy ground. Sometimes, for a short distance, deer follow the path made by skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles, then they turn off into the trees.
I too follow snowmobile trails where they merge with mine.
There are small creatures leaving tracks; this likely that of a rabbit. I've also seen tiny mincing marks, close together, and the pads of coyote.
Not a track, but a swirling pattern, of seeds dropped and scattered, readying themselves for a new growing season.