We went for a hike up in the woods behind our property this afternoon, and it was great. The sun was shining in a cloudless Minnesota-blue sky, the temperature was in the mid-20s, and there was no wind. (Imagine that!)
Although it may look as if Papa Pea is packing enough provisions for a two-week trek, the only thing he had in his backpack was our snowshoes. When we started out, we didn't know what snow conditions would be in the deep woods so took the snowshoes in case we needed them. We didn't. The level of snow was much lower than we had expected and frozen enough for us to walk on top of it in our boots.
The slightly treacherous part of the hike was that about half the trail was ice covered. The trail we were on runs east and west, but the land slopes down from north to south. So, much of the melting that has already occurred formed very slipery ice over much of the territory we covered.
We saw lots of animal droppings and tracks including these pictured above with my boot in the photo for comparison. We have no idea what could have made these unusual looking prints.
About half the trail was right along a ravine that has a little creek running in the bottom of it. Very picturesque even though the water was still frozen solid.
It's really a lovely time of year to be out in the woods. No bugs, it's easy to dress warmly enough (without being too warm) for hiking, and you see so many tracks and trails that the wildlife uses. With no shrubbery leafed out, visibility through the woods is at its highest. The fresh air, exercise and oxygenated blood pumping through our veins weren't bad either.