|The ash-frame snowshoes I weaved|
|My snowshoe tracks next to more modern style snowshoes tracks worn by Jacqui.|
|Me during my last visit home. There was thick crust on the 2.5 ft of snow, with my snowshoes I was often able to remain on the very top layer of snow. I'm wearing a wool hat my Memere knitted, wool pants, mukluks, a wool sweater and a down vest.|
I've spent most of my life living in the northeast, specifically New Hampshire, where winter is often considered to be"long". I constantly meet or talk to people in NH or now here in NY that generally have nothing positive to say about the great white season, except for maybe taking a trip to Florida or the tropics to avoid it for a bit. When I was a kid it was always adults telling me why winter sucked: snow to shovel, a car to scrap or clear-off, slippery ice, the cost of heating, achy bones and cold steering wheels or a million other things. But I also know people in their 60's, 70's, and even 80's who still enjoy winter, and not just from their windows. I know I will never get tired of putting on my snowshoes and mittens to go for a winter walk in the woods, or a hike up a mountain, and I actually enjoy shoveling snow! My love for winter has only evolved and increased since I was a kid, from snowball fights to snowshoeing and winter photography.
Often it seems people are unable to enjoy winter because they are ill-equipped and/or ill-informed to handle the adverse weather conditions. It is impossible to enjoy winter if you can't feel your toes or fingers. Once this basic issue is overcome, winter can open up a new world of outdoor possibilities, there is no reason to be shut inside during such a magnificent time of year!
For me winter means great sleeping weather, crackling fires and wood smoke, the sound of a snow plow grating across the road, annoying frost heaves, naked trees, slow driving, SNOW, crazy black-capped chickadees flying around during snow storms, SNOW, animal tracks, snow covered trees, snow men, icicles, sledding, ice-skating, SNOW, photography, and of course snowshoeing!
Why do I love to snowshoe? This unique and ancient form of travel allows one to venture out quietly into the woods under your own power in conditions that would otherwise make it far too difficult or at least very slow and challenging.
Being out in the woods in winter is one of my favorite experiences. Winter travel offers many great thrills, the forest has a strange and unique feel in January, it seems more quiet and dormant, animal track and sign is bountiful and easy to spot, and the inherent beauty of a snow-covered forest never gets old.
The rain we have been receiving this week in the northeast leaves me with mixed feelings. I can't deny the slight thrill I get when the mercury gets up to the high 40s, however, I am disappointed to see the snow melt away. Ultimately I am still not quite ready to give up on winter!
Hopefully next week we'll get a cold-snap, and I can once again walk outside in the morning and fill my lungs with refreshingly cold air.
Enjoy winter while it lasts!
|Twig bundle fire|