It's been a strange winter ~ I need to say that. I can't recall, ever in my lifetime, a winter with so many warm spells and rain. It is really hard to get acclimated to our winter this year as one day it is 40 degrees and the next 0 or below. A 30 degree switch hasn't been uncommon. That does nothing for those trying to make and maintain ski trails for skiing either. It gets warm, ices up the trail, we get a bit more snow, track it again with the HOK skis to pack it ~ and it's warm again. I haven't hardly been on my "real" cross country skis this winter. Strange. The snow is so hard now after rain ~ and plenty of it ~ and then back to sub zero temps ~ I have been walking around the woods ~ not on trails always ~ in my running shoes! The deer can even walk around ~ out in the open ~ on top. Some of the deep balsam and spruce woods can be a bit more tricky!
Yesterday, Betsy and I hiked up the hill behind our house, to the Superior Hiking Trail. Yes, in running shoes ~ not waterproof ones either! Here we are a ways east of the valley on one of the overlooks on the trail. Quite a view. Most of the going was really great. The only place I had a few issues was when I went off the east side of this big hill. Creek bottom, shady most of the day, big spruce and balsam ~ and, you guessed it. Not completely hard snow there. I went in crotch deep and had to crawl about 30 yards on my hands and knees to get to a spot that would support me again. Hit a deer trail and I was in fine shape. But ~ yes. Back to strange. It was fun tho and we sure got our exercise. If I did that every day all winter ~ boy, would I be in fine shape. I usually rely on cross country skiing to keep pounds off in the winter time. Hasn't been easy this winter!
On the other hand ~ it has been a great winter for new ice formations. On shore ones ~ caused by a rough Lake Superior. It is rough more often than not. So, between the warm spells melting off the nice details like you see here ~ there's another storm and cold to make more. It's always a joy to behold this kind of beauty. I never tire of hitting the shore and finding these treasures. I do miss not having ice on the lake tho. That is always a favorite of mine.
I will leave you with a beauty I found a few days ago. All the colors in this spot were amazing. I regularly find turquoises a bit into winter. Sometimes the ambers or golds. This has them all. It was just too beautiful for words.
I do hope you are all enjoying your winter tho ~ even if I am muttering about all the warm spells and rains. I probably should have posted photos of all that too. But, time to get out and have a hike with Betsy. It is, after all, above 30 already this morning and supposed to rain ~ again ~ sigh...............