First Snowshoe of Winter

The first “real” snow only came 10 days ago, but winter is already here in full force. Cold, blizzardy weather closed the local schools for 3 days and had everyone talking about the whiteout conditions. The season’s snowfall total is already more than 50 inches and technically it’s not even winter yet.

On Sunday afternoon, we got out our snowshoes and went to the cottage. It was extremely sunny out and very cold with the temperature hovering a degree or two above zero (in Fahrenheit). I wore tights and insulated pants, a few tops including a wool sweater and my winter coat, hat, a scarf to cover my face, and mittens over gloves—which was perfect for the conditions. I also wore my new boots, which seem to be plenty warm in the cold weather even though they aren’t insulated.

We parked the truck at the end of the plowed section of the road and walked in to the cottage and then continued on to the lake, a distance of about a mile. The snowshoeing itself was easy going on top of about a foot of dense, settled snow, and our traditional wood snowshoes sunk only an inch or two with each step. On the way back, we walked along the edge of the lake where a few inches of snow covered solid ice.

Winter is quiet. We saw very little sign of animals, just a few tracks. In the forest, deer are migrating to winter ground. Along the lake edge, muskrats have left some tracks on the top of their huts while other tracks suggest that a curious coyote is also in the neighborhood. I was disappointed that there wasn’t much too look at; it was not surprising to see only a few deer tracks when I went skiing in the woods behind our house on Saturday, but I was expected to see more action by the lake.

Regardless, it was great to get outside and see the place at a different time of year. I hope to get out before Christmas and continue my work with my ax and saw.

 

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