Winter Walks

lone apple tree

It’s been a cold January. (Except, of course, for the week in the middle of the month when it poured rain. Temperatures climbed to the 40’s. All of the previous month’s snowfall was flushed into the stream.)

When the surrounding landscapes go into the deep freeze, most of our time is spent close to the fire, but we try to get out for a walk every day, even the coldest ones. (So far this year, we’ve had quite a number of days when highs barely reached single digits.)

Our late-afternoon routine includes hauling water, bringing in firewood, emptying the gray water, and the walk to the mailbox (a one-mile round trip). Weekends often include longer hikes, such as the perimeter walk around our land boundary, something that we do at least once each year.

The images in this post include a few of the scenes from our walks in recent weeks.

apple mummies

When the winters are cold and food is scarce, these apples (above) provide much needed calories for the deer, and other animals that can get at them.

burdock

One of the few snowfalls that we’ve had this winter gave us a foot of very light (cold) snow. For a week or more, it rested gently, like large puffs of cotton, on the vegetation.

tree fungus

During our boundary walk a couple weeks ago, I took a little side trip to find out where our neighbor has been logging recently. Not far from the southern corner of our land, this 1937 Ford pickup truck rested quietly in the forest. The license plate on it displayed the year 1963. Twenty six years of utility. Not bad for the old Ford.

I found myself staring long at the rusting remains, almost wishing that it could talk. I wanted to hear the stories of the life it had seen.

1937 Ford truck

I enjoy a good walk any time of year, but the winter walks are often the ones I remember most.

tree and fence