Yesterday I put on my snowshoes and took the dogs out into the woods near our house in New Hampshire. The snow has to be about two feet deep, even as it thaws and gets more compact. It’s a little disorienting, all that snow, as it’s such a deep blanket. There are lots of tumbled down stone walls and fallen trees that have temporarily disappeared from the landscape. I was particularly confused when I missed a fallen log that just weeks ago needed to be clumsily clambored over … must have just walked right over it without even knowing!
Anyway … there is a nicely worn, single file snowshoe path from our house down across the field and along a woods road to where the snowmobilers have a wintry thoroughfare about a quarter of a mile further into the woods. We haven’t had much wind, so the trees are still laden and the snow in most places off the path is still unsullied and pristine white. And did I say it is deep? The deepest we’ve ever seen at this time of year … mayby ANY time of year!
I noticed, yesterday, that there was deer scat in the path near our barn. (The dogs definitely noticed as well.) Then I also saw the marks of deer hooves, daintily traversing the trail of nice, hard pack snow that we’d created on our walks. Walking through a stand of hemlocks, I glanced down and saw that some wild turkeys had used the path, too. And then there were the paw prints … maybe our dogs, or neighborhood canines, or the coyotes that we hear at night.
Interesting how the deep snow challenges us and brings so many disparate travelers together into a shared path, isn’t it?