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Wow! What a morning! I finally broke out the snowshoes for the first time this season and went for a walk. It was a glorious morning. Sunny, fairly warm (35 degrees), and not a breath of wind. I headed out for one of my favorite walks up past the Luck Penny ditch and on up the hill to the forest gate. I had my trusty camera with me and put it to good use! I told Bob where I was going and to follow my footprints if I didn't come back. He warned me to look out for Mountain Lions (yes, they are around here!). I said I would see their tracks and turn around and come back if I saw any.
Oh oh these tracks look scary! Is that an albino mountain lion on the branch? NOT!
I followed the road that Hughie had plowed before Christmas up to the top of the hill. I was just enjoying the solitude, peace and quiet (except for the chickadees who went for the walk with me and did their little chickadee trill all the way), when my old friends, the coyotes began their yapping and howling. I was in just about the same place on top of the hill as I was the night we walked in and heard them! This was in the morning, though and they sounded like they were down by the cabin somewhere. It was kind of neat, though, that their howls echoed all around me. I'll admit that I looked around me several times nervously before moving on. I also checked my ski poles to see if they could withstand an attack if I needed them. One of my poles never has worked right and collapses when a little pressure is put on it. I wanted to be sure that one was in my left hand just in case. Well, it's better than a purse and computer, right?
Up where I heard the coyotes
The Butte is in the background
I pressed on and got into some pretty deep snow with no trail so kind of didn't notice when the coyotes quit their howling. I got back on someone's snowmobile trail (probably under about 6 inches of snow) up on the road to the headgate. Luckily it turned to go up to the forest gate right where I wanted to go. Climbing that last hill was a real workout but it was worth it. I took some pictures up at the gate and just enjoyed the view and the peacefulness. I took pictures of animal tracks on the way back. It was a lot of fun and I didn't even stumble or fall although taking my timed pictures of me was a near miss! I had to stomp out a trail and then figure out if I could back up in snowshoes or not. I only had ten seconds to do it all in and if I stepped on my own shoes it would be a picture of me collapsed in a heap . The backing up worked pretty good the first time, but the second time my snow shoe got turned sideways so I kind of had to do a side shot! I actually liked that one better. I learned you can't move too fast on snow shoes!
My side view. The forest gate Looking down the fence line
When I got to the creek on the way back the birds were all chirping and chattering. It was such a nice sound I wanted to record it so I made a movie of the creek with the birds singing in the background. They kind of got quiet once I started filming but I hope there is some singing on it.
Old moose tracks Wildlife playground Home again!
I can hardly wait until tomorrow to go out again. I'll have to try my second favorite trail although it goes out much nearer to the coyote den and I might get some real closeups of those fellows!