Waiting on Winter

     I've always held a certain fascination for winter. Bringing blizzards, snowdrifts and sub-zero temperatures, which may sound horrifying to most, but to me and many other northerners it brings many of our most cherished outdoor activities. Such as rifle hunts in the early part of November, late season archery (more on that in future posts) ice fishing, snowmobiling, the cutting and burning of wood, sledding, trapping and snaring, winter camps, along with the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      Fall is my second favorite season, the already flourishing Northland seems teeming as wildlife begins to become more and more active. The deer rut begins to set it, the bears are rushing to scavenge as much as they can to build up as much of their fat stores as possible before winter sets in. With all that going on, the mosquito population finally dwindling down and the leaves changing colors makes for an exceedingly enjoyable viewing experience. But when the snows finally come and the winds of winter begin to blow is when I am at my happiest. When the first snow comes I am overwhelmed by the temptation to stuff all my gear in my pack and test the limits of myself.

 
   



   

     Days when clouds roll in early in the morning and darken the skies above and there is no wind, it makes it so you can hear anything and everything when in all reality there is nothing to hear at all. It's days like that when I grab my snowshoes and just go. I'll walk until around four in the afternoon when the sun, just as it begins to set, breaks through the clouds and awakens all the sounds of the forest. Around this time is when I turn towards home, thinking as I walk that when I get there, I'll throw a few logs on the fire, fix myself a bowl of stew and settle in for the night, just to do it all again the next day.

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