Monday, January 13, 2014

Soggy Winter

Several days (and even nights) of above-freezing weather have made a soggy mess of the woods, and hard-packed ice on the trails makes the walking quite treacherous.  But Nature still calls me out of doors, so I pulled on my Yaktraks and headed out for a hike around Mud Pond today.  I had heard that Moreau Lake State Park  staffers had placed a road-killed deer on the ice, so I hoped I might catch some ravens or eagles enjoying a carrion feast.

But not a creature was stirring around the poor sodden carcase lying lonely out there on the watery ice, nor could I find any trace of the wildlife that lives in these woods, except for numerous litter-strewn holes that squirrels had dug to retrieve their hidden food caches.   Oh wait, there were numerous deer tracks, too, the deer being the only woodland residents heavy enough to break through the crusted snow and leave any sign of their passing.

The birds were quite silent, too, with not a caw nor a twitter nor a peep to be heard above the sound of the rushing brook.  With all the rainwater and snowmelt filling its course, the creek made it all the way to the pond today.  Much of the year, this little creek disappears underground long before it enters the pond, but today it kept dancing happily all the way to the shore..

Despite the drear weather, I did find a few spots of color  in a stand of Bitternut Hickory, a tree that's known for the bright chrome-yellow of its buds.

I was truly surprised to find a couple of Witch Hazel flowers still bravely in bloom.

I took the river road home from Mud Pond, stopping to admire this view of my favorite little island in the middle of the Hudson.  Two days ago, the river was still iced over from shore to shore, but today the water ran open and dark, reflecting the beauty of the forested mountains that line the banks.

1 comment:

The Furry Gnome said...

Sounds like a nice outing, despite it being soggy.