Monday, February 12, 2007

Long Shadows

Ah, the weekend! I finally had the time and daylight for a walk in the woods. It was chilly, but no longer frigid. The wind was diminished since earlier in the week when it pummeled me with its brute force. In the weekend’s sunlight, the breeze constantly reminded me of its presence but didn’t leave me feeling battered.

Dog and I explored the edges of the forest, stopping to try and decipher tracks of animals that had gone before us. This was complicated by the age of the snowy tracks, which were starting to look a lot alike.

We went fairly early in the morning, after dawn but before the skiers were out in force. Dog thinks skiers are Things That Should Be Herded, so it’s better for all of us if I don’t take him along when he might be distracted by too many of them, even if they are in the distance.

On a winter’s morning, the forest is a quiet place. We didn’t walk near open water, where we might have seen birds. We didn’t walk along brushy edges, where we might have seen the fox or one of the scolding squirresls. Instead, we walked among the miles of slumbering trees, where we occasionally had a view but mostly we had trees. That was more than good enough for Dog, whose daily rambles have been shortened recently by the cold, the wind, and the early darkness. And it was more than good enough for me, who has been feeling a bit deprived of the outdoors, as well.

In a way, feeling deprived of the outdoors when I live in the forest sounds a bit ridiculous. But seeing the forest is not the same as being out in it, even when that forest comes right up to the cabin’s doors. In the winter it is only on the weekends when I can really get out into the forest to explore. True, I could stumble around the forest in the dark (and I have done that), but that can’t begin to compete with a sunny weekend ramble. Even a short ramble through the woods rejuvenates me and helps ready me for the week ahead. We didn’t see anything exotic. We didn’t do anything extreme. It was wonderful.

1 comment:

pablo said...

I know exactly what you mean when you say that being in a forest is different from just seeing the forest. I can look at photos from my woods, but it merely makes me want to be out among the trees even more.