Saturday, December 28, 2013


Yesterday the dog and I headed into the woods on the farm next door on snowshoes.  It was a challenge because of the crusty ice layer in the snow, but beautiful with 3" of fresh powder snow on top of the icy crust, and all over the dogwoods.

You can see the low layer of dogwood shrubs that grow beneath the trees throughout the east end of the woods in this picture, but before I show you the white wizardry of the dogwoods, let me tell you about the snowshoes.

I have 4 pair to choose from when I go snowshoeing - 2 old style larger ones (these are the 40 year old, 4 foot beaver tail snowshoes), and two modern pair, one of which is much smaller.  With the icy crust under the surface of the snow the larger snowshoes let me just walk across the snow easily, so those were the ones I chose - but I got to the point where I took the picture above, and the old leather harness broke.  I was forced to go back to the car and put on the smaller modern pair.

These are great for walking on a packed trail behind other snowshoers, but not so good for breaking trail.  With them on I sank through the crusty snow making only slow and arduous progress - except where I was following other snowshoe tracks part of the way.  And it's easy when you sink through for the toe to catch the icy crust and trip you into the deep snow just when you least expect it!

But  let's pretend that didn't happen.  These are the dogwoods.  They tend to hold their branches horizontally, and have small twigs that catch the snow, so walking through them is like being inside a world of powdery lace.

Snow was caught on every branch, in all directions, leaving the woods looking like a wizard had created a new world of fine white icing on every black twig, almost like being inside a blizzard.

It was late afternoon, the sun was starting to set, and the light was gentle in the woods, silhouetting these branches.

We did make it out to the open fields (this was where the corn was planted this summer), before tripping in the deep snow.  Slow going until I found another set of tracks I could follow back.

We looped through the swamp, now mostly frozen and buried in white.These fine branches had caught a lot of snow puffs.  I could just feel the snow drifting down the back of my neck if I tried to go through that!

Last year the trail went underneath this pile of deadfall.  At that time it was still leaning high enough in the air that you could walk under it only ducking your head a little.  It must have crunched to the ground over the summer.  We detoured around it and headed out to the trail home.


  1. Beautiful snowy pictures. We haven't been snow shoeing in years. We have bear paws and beaver tails here, both hand made by my husband's uncle. He is famous for his snowshoes in the Miramichi, NB area and made them from scratch for years. They are something we will always keep but I'd like to try the new aluminum ones. We bought his last pair of children's ones for our grandson when he retired from making them at age 88 due to ill health.

    1. How beautiful your snowy surroundings are. I've never been on snowshoes.. the old or the modern. It's something I'd love to do sometime. Thanks for sharing your wonderful area.

  2. I once lost a snowshoe in a swampy area. Fortunately it was not too far from the house as my leg was completely soaked and it was very cold. I went looking for the missing snowshoe the following summer when the swamp was half dried up and, to my surprised, found it!
    As usual, your pictures are wonderful.

  3. This is what I love about blogging, being able to read and see what is happening elsewhere in the world. As I sit here I have the airconditioner on as it is so hot outside, about 43 degrees celcius outside, and here you are walking through snow. Cheers. Happy New Year

  4. What a hoot! I went snowshoeing on the bog yesterday. You'll have to watch for my post. We had 2" of ice on top of 30cm of snow. In the bog, the snow underneath melted. I was afraid I was going to wrench my back as each step, I sunk and nearly fell. It was dumb to go out on it, as I could see where the deer and wolf had had issues!
    Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  5. What a wonderful winter photos... about such a snow area we can only have a dream...but I can imagine that it could be sometimes very hard...Happy New Year...

  6. Blue and white! Just two more reasons I love sunny days in the snow

  7. I'm thinking that I should get a pair of snow snows. They would come in handy up at Happy Trails. Though, it is raining today and all the snow is gone again.
    Beautiful snowy pictures.