Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Silence can be so loud

The mercury shot up to -10 C yesterday; perfect time for a walk in our winter wonderland. -10 here is quite bearable, quite a change from the bone chilling -2 C temps of the coast and slushy, soggy stuff we called snow. In Bull River we have squeaky snow; I have never heard snow squeak so loudly! You have no chance on sneaking up on any wildlife in the snow here.

We headed up the hill on the forest service road. The winter scenery is stunning. You see so many more things when all the shrubs and trees are bare. Such things as the four legged critters which may have been more camouflaged in the bush. Even with all our squeaking yesterday we did come across a herd of 40 or so elk. The elk kept their distance, which is good, because apparently they can be quite aggressive. It is very interesting trying to identify all the various animal tracks in the snow. Guessing, is that a cougar or a bobcat; a coyote, wolf or just the neighbour's dog; are those tracks deer or elk. The mice, squirrels, voles and birds leave very interesting little trails too.

The silence when you stop walking is so intense. How silence can be so loud I am not sure, but it is. By the time we had gone about 3.5 km we were starting to feel the cold (our cheeks were getting a little stiff) so headed home. In total, the loop we did was about 5 km. Not bad for a shuffle in the squeaky snow. Now, to sit by the fire and warm up with a nice glass of red wine.