We often go for walks, I just usually don't think to bring my camera. On this day, I did, and was able to capture some of the magical and exciting aspects of a winter's day nature walk through the woods. For little ones, the snow provides an abundance of clues and evidence about life in nature that often goes unseen. It is magical to spot these clues and leaves a sense of wonder and awe about the animals and the places they live.
Passing through the meadow we spot our Halloween Jack O Lanterns. They are still there shrunken, wrinkled and under the snow.
We find the first set of tracks. Deer- we think. My oldest daughter follows them and runs back excitedly. They led to the apple tree.
Swinging from low branches and climbing as high as possible, we take a few minutes to enjoy the wild apple trees.
Another track. We wonder what this is. It curves this way and that.
We follow it through the snow. Now we see where this little fellow was going.
Evidence of other walkers, we are not the only ones to enjoy a winter's walk.
Our favorite stand of old maple trees. We wonder what animals live inside this great tree as we notice it's trunk and branches that the leaves once covered.
The old tree is fun to climb and balance on. It's bumpy and knotted, with crevices and holes for the animals to use for shelter from the weather or a predator.
For now it seems empty... or at least quiet.
These tracks lead us in a straight line through the trees.
With the leaves and plants gone we notice things we never noticed before. Mushrooms, fungus, and moss.
We notice the sound of ice crunching and breaking under our boots. We stop to slide our feet on the ice and investigate the large pieces.
Bird tracks. We see lots of movement in these tracks and imagine the birds hopping in the snow. The tracks leave so many clues. Sometimes they are close together showing us movements that are slow. Sometimes they are further apart indicating a larger animal or an animal moving quickly.
We've sledding down hills, walked and been pulled in the sled. We notice our own tracks as we head home. The wonderful part is that each time we head out into the woods there is something new and magical to be found. New tracks, new clues, new discoveries to be made.