This week I visit Flying J to hike. Here the snow from two weeks ago still lies heavy in the many shaded areas under the trees. The shadows, dead grass and animal tracks are all that change the white landscape.
I enjoy the crunch of snow mixed with ice hiking early. By 8am mud is already taking over the areas in the sun. Each day the islands of open ground expand under the trees. The moist brown mulch from the pine trees draw my attention to the tree itself. In warmer seasons the ground and trees meld together and it’s all the trees, the forest I see.
This park is home to many small, black Abert squirrels. They are shy so instead of seeing them sitting on a log, usually they appear in motion, running from tree to tree. Today I didn’t see one, but I saw the remains of their meal on the trail, Ponderosa needles and little pieces of bark.
Next week work starts again, and I will walk in the afternoons. Then I will enjoy the difference a few hours can make watching the shadows as they close the day.