Monday, January 5, 2009

Boreal Chickadees

Sunrise this morning!
I don't know about you, but sometimes i can be so overcome by emotions? Today i had an incredibly beautiful ski trip, but also some sad news. Now i am so 'full' I can't write, and will add the words later.

See the shades of blue in the sky? That's looking North.

Here I look South, what's happening on the top of those Mountains?

Lets find those chickadees. No, that wasn't my mission this morning, but as it is the title of this post, that's where i will go.
I left at 10 am this morning, it's still warmer then it was and warmer then it will be (the forecast). It is around minus 3o C. And it looks like it is going to be a clear day.
There has still been no wind here, and the trees have yet more snow on the them, on the little path in between the firesmart and the lake, the trees are almost all white, and creating interesting shapes.
On the lake and the swamp i can feel a wisp of the North wind, that is out there somewhere. It's cold on the cheeks. At around 11am i reach the first drumlin at the foot of 'maria mountain'. I take my skis of and climb up it. On the top awaits me the sunrise(see photo). I even get a glimpse of a sun dog in the East.
Yesterday, i was talking about more snow at the coast. But that snow is probably heavier and ones ski don't sink in so much. Here i am happy when there is a little bit of a base, Because when i get of the track, my skis disappear deeply in the snow, walking is easier(just because the snow is so light). Sometimes i will do a side way step with my skis on to make a nice path uphill, other times i just walk a bit.
There is that giant rabbit again! Just it's footprints actually.(i will do some reading again tonight about the size of prints from the snowshoe hare.*)
Finally on top of the esker, from here i will follow this esker in stead of going up the mountain. Here the snow has a different aspect. Nobody has been here all winter, (no base) And because of wind the snow has drifted here and formed a hard crust on top. Which at first moment supports me, till i crash through. Luckily it has not drifted like that most of the way. I do walk the last part though to reach the highest part of the esker. Glorious!
I work on the trail a bit. On the way back,now the trail is in ,i enjoy being on the narrow ridge of the esker and look straight into the mountains South of Taye lake.

Snowshoe Hare
Our rabbits here are Snowshoe Hare(Lepus americanus) And listen to this; Louise R. Forrest says "In winter, snowshoe hares, or varying hares, grow particularly thick fur on the soles of their hind feet, making 'snowshoes' well-suited to snow travel." *that explains it!

One Raven i hear, and i sing; where are the.... (the song calls for eagles), i haven't seen one bird yet. Going down i take a different route, and come upon a disturbance in the snow,where snow has fallen of the trees recently, here, there, everywhere. It seems birds where in the trees, disturbed the snow while flying off.

Still i see no bird, and today i will not know who had been sleeping in the trees..

Finally on the little path i hear the call of a chickadee. I stop and wait and get rewarded with a small group of Boreal Chickadees, distinguishing themselves with their rusty flanks.

1 comment:

Anja said...

Beautiful sunrise, wow. thanks for sharing it. The family news is sad, life is a delicate gift.