Exploring the Winter Landscape

Swish, glide. Swish, glide. Swish, glide.

The snow is fresh and light as I ski quietly among the trees. Birds twitter as I follow the forest road gently up the mountain. The trees part occasionally, giving me glimpses of the valley floor and neighboring peaks. I stop to sip some water and soak up the solitude, embracing the moment.

Spending time outdoors in winter is refreshing and rejuvenating. The world looks, feels and sounds different when blanketed in snow. When the snow falls, I like to slap on a pair of skis and explore the landscape.

Swish, glide. Swish, glide. Swish, glide.

As I ski into the woods, I am aware of forest activity. I hear the muffled sound of a creek that is partially buried in the snow.  My ski tracks cross deer tracks several times. I hear a raven croak in the distance. I am not alone. Tree limbs gently bend earthward from the weight of new snow. The occasional snow bomb explodes with a whump and powder cloud as these limbs release their winter weight.

Swish, glide. Swish, glide. Swish, glide.

I reach the edge of a meadow. In the summer, this meadow is carpeted with wildflowers and buzzing with bees. Today, it is covered with pillows of snow and quiet. I spy a spider making its way across a mound of snow. A gray jay lands on a nearby snag, eyeing me curiously. Life abounds in the dead of winter.

Swish, glide. Swish, glide. Swish, glide.

A thin fog envelops me as I approach treeline. I look upward and can no longer see my intended destination. This seems like a good point to turn around, so  I remove my backpack for a quick snack break and to put on a warmer jacket for the descent. After a final glance at this winter wonderland, I reverse direction and enjoy the ride back down.

You don’t have to don a pair of skis to enjoy the winter environment. A warm pair of winter boots for a walk through your neighborhood park might be sufficient. If you’re heading out to deep snow, snowshoes make the exploration easier. Whatever your method, be prepared for the cold. This post offers some great tips for staying warm outdoors in winter.

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3 thoughts on “Exploring the Winter Landscape

  1. Pingback: At Home in Nature | Louise-in-Btween: Embracing the Day

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