But We Walked Anyhow
I had on long underwear, an special blaze orange shirt and over that, my blaze orange hunter's jacket. Below, winter riding breeches covered by a pair of ski pants. On my feet, muck boots, an on my head an orange gaitor and a ski cap.
I needed every bit of the clothing on our hike. We were out for about 2 hours in the 20 or so degree temperatures with a rather brisk wind. On the plus side, the sun was out and if we stopped in a spot sheltered from the wind, the warmth was noticeable.
Part of the hike was along the fields, where the wind did whip now and then, but the rest was in the woods where the trees kept the air still.
Here I am at the lake in the back, surveying the rather amazing sight of three large beaver lodges at water's edge.
No picture of the lodges. My hiking partner (Joe Sapia) sent these to me and I didn't have my camera. But is was fascinating to see the beavers's work along the edge of the woodland. They'd cleared in impressive number of saplings to build their homes. But they'd also taken down some trees with trunks as wide as 8" diameter. These guys are powerful lumberjacks. Joe has some pictures of the trees stumps on his Twitter page. There are also "drag trails" out there from the wooded area down to the water where the beavers pulled the logs they used to build.
I knew there was one lodge out there, but three? Quite unexpected. It is a manmade lake and the beavers are doing no harm to the waterway. All I can hope now is that the hunters, fishermen, random hikers and minibike/ATV riders leave them alone. I'd hate for a peaceful beaver habitat like this to be ruined my uncaring humans.
On the way back home, I lost the trail again. It's the same spot Chance and I got off course, but this time, I was far east of the proper trail. Fortunately, again, there's no real way to get lost and I knew exactly where my house was. I guess the Boys heard is tramping through the woods on our way back because Tucker and Toby were at the gate, waiting for us.
Once again, the picture tells the story. Tucker was decidedly curious to see if I'd manage to bring something back for him.
He does look a bit disappointed, but Toby remained every hopeful. There's just a dusting of snow visible behind them, but as you can see, the sun was brilliant.
All, in all, although my legs are feeling it today, it was a great hike. Joe and I have some more exploring to do across the road from my house, and he has a park by his house to walk as well.
Level ground around here, with not too many challenging hills, so that's good news for me. My knees feel great when I'm moving, but they do get a bit stiff and sore when I sit for a while. Hoping the walking will help some of that.
It was a great day out in the cold wind of Mother Nature.