In 2015 two things lined up for me. One was that it actually snowed fairly frequently during the winter, and the other was that I had recently purchased snowshoes. After one particularly good snowfall, I grabbed my snowshoes and poles and drove over to Mandaumin Woods to go for a little hike.
The trail is difficult to see in the winter time, but luckily it didn’t really matter. I set off and the beginning of the trail, heading south, wasn’t very deep, but deep enough.
The aspens, like the oaks, were still holding on to their leaves as the snow accumulated on their drying surfaces. As you can see, snow was lightly falling and it was quite cold.
Tiny bracket fungi had formed on this small, living branch. I always find it fascinating how some mushrooms continue to thrive even in the cold.
This tree had had some serious injuries in its lifetime, healing after the loss of a limb? Looking at the middle area you can see some woodpeckers have started to “farm” it for insects.
The trail began to get deeper the closer to the northern open field I got. I had to carefully make my way over fallen trees that were half buried in the snow while ducking under others.
As I could make out old prints in the snow, the trail became more obvious as I continued through the forest.
I found several animal tracks and evidence of wildlife activity during my hike.
I’m not very knowledgeable about the different tree species but have always been intrigued by the texture of the bark on various tree trunks.
As proof and as a reminder, I took this shot of one of my new snowshoes. I hoping this winter will bring enough snow to actually get to use them. The winter of 2017 did not provide a single day to get out and enjoy them.