Tuesday, March 3, 2015


About a week ago the string of single digit high temperatures let up enough to allow us out for some snowshoe action.  The Road Queen had never been out on snowshoes before and we both love spending time on winter hikes so I knew she would like it.  One of the greatest things about snow shoes is the zero learning curve.  The hardest part is strapping them to your boots and that really isn't much of a problem once you've done it a time or two.

The day after a huge snowstorm we took a short drive to the Clear Fork reservoir where on the north side of the lake is a strip of woods about two miles long. This is the perfect place to spend a couple hours getting close to nature.  As I figured the RoadQueen took the snowshoes like it was second nature and we were off on our winter time adventure.

Violent summer storms have taken their toll on the trees around the area.  I've seen more blow downs and storm damage in the places I frequent over the past few years than I ever remember.

For a long while we noticed deer tracks in the fresh snow and found that they were traveling generally the same direction as us. Mentioning that it would nice to see some deer no sooner had we crested the next small rise we spotted the white tails up ahead. 

This land is public hunting area but hikers, Dog walkers and other nature loving people are always passing through so the deer are used to human activity and don't usually explode with white flags flying and make for the next township at first contact. They'll retreat cautiously and keep a comfortable hundred yard buffer.  I managed to get a shot of the group with my camera phone.

Another denizen of the forest we weren't lucky enough to spot but we did hear all afternoon were various woodpeckers.  The RoadQueen did catch a glimpse of the common Downy woodpecker.  What really caught our attention was the loud powerful staccato pounding of a much larger bird.  I'm sure it was a Pileated woodpecker because I've seen them before in this woods.  They are timid and usually stop pounding and hide out on the backside of their tree when people approach.  Although we never got to see the bird we did notice his handiwork.

More woodpecker sign

We ended up snowshoeing a total of about three miles. Of course we're all ready for spring by this point but getting out and doing something fun like snowshoeing makes it all a little more bearable.  

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