Winter Walk on a Pretty Day

On Saturday night, after the kids and I were done playing in the snow, we went to bed thinking that the snowstorm was over. Not so. The rain gave way to snow again during the night. When we woke up, everything was covered with a fresh layer of the beautiful white stuff.

I decided to go for a walk in the woods, my first since before my knee surgery. The sun was bright and the sky was a stunning shade of blue. It was such a pretty day that it would have been something akin to a crime to stay inside all day.

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Such a Pretty Day

I had hoped to get out before the snow melted off the trees. My timing was good. There were still layers of snow and ice “jewels” on many of them. I tried to capture the glittering glory on film and failed, but at least I got some pictures of the snow melting.

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Snow Melting off Pine Needles

I reached the scenic overlook and rested for a moment.

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Scenic Overlook

I wanted to continue on to the area that I think of as the Pine Forest. It looks so pretty in the snow, and I hadn’t been there in ages. Even though I was afraid of overexerting myself, I decided to go for it.

I’m glad I did. There are two distinct sections of pine forest. There is a denser, more mysterious part that’s dominated by young trees.

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Dense Pine Forest

Then there is the part with the older growth. It’s less mysterious. You don’t get the feeling like you might be wandering into Narnia. But you do get the feeling like you’re in a holy place. The trees there are tall.

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Tall Trees

But some of them are approaching the end of their lifespans. Look at this mess of a tree trunk.

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Rotten Trunk

You’d think the whole tree was dead, but not yet. Only half of it is gone. There it lingers (though I wouldn’t be surprised to find that recent high winds had since knocked it down).

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“I’m Not Dead Yet!”

The ground there is covered with princess pines. I used to think they were baby pine trees, but they’re actually a totally different type of plant, known as a clubmoss.

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Princess Pine

On the way to the Pine Forest I had noticed that there were black specks all over the snow. I hadn’t given them much thought. But as I was trekking back home, I discovered that some of my footprints had filled up with flecks. I bent down to examine them and felt suddenly very itchy.

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Snow Fleas!

I was almost certain that snow fleas weren’t really fleas, but I really did feel itchy. So I called my husband and asked him. He even knew the answer. He said that snow fleas are springtails. They eat stuff in the woods, not people. Thank goodness!

I was almost home when I spotted a single beech leaf on the snow. Beech leaves aren’t exactly exciting, but I just can’t seem to help loving them. Even though they’re brown, they are a reminder that summer will come again.

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Beech Leaf on Snow

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