fresh snow in the forest

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“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ” – William Sharp

It feels like I took these photos ages ago when only a week has passed. We had the gift of a fresh snowfall over the weekend before last, and already I’m waiting for more. The snow accumulated quickly in the afternoon and after driving home in the heavy snow I rushed outside and walked slowly in the peaceful snowfall. I crept from tree to tree at times to shelter myself and my camera from the wet flakes. You could barely see across the pond, and the woods were the most magical I’ve ever seen them with snow touching every twig and needle. I also saw a pileated woodpecker flying from tree to tree. Its bright red and black feathers stood out starkly among the white forest. I got so excited because I hadn’t seen or heard one in sooo long!

The day after the snowfall Darin and I went on a long hike (without snowshoes, at that!). We attempted to find the trail to Hall Mountain, but couldn’t. I think I may have found it after we had already followed a snowmobile trail that nearly summits the mountain anyway. It is hard to find trails in the winter when they aren’t blazed! We had a map and compass and the GPS from our phones with us, however, and Darin lead us home on an off-trail adventure through the backcountry. It was actually thrilling to be away from the snowmobiles and to explore a side of the forest that I would never see if I just stuck to the trail. We found a beautiful wetland and an area of trees heavily impacted by a busy beaver. I also kept my eyes out for animal tracks but only saw evidence of deer. I felt like such an explorer wandering through groves of hemlocks heavy with snow or coming upon winding streams. By the end of the 4 1/2 hour journey, I was sore and tired, but very happy.

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