When your snowshoes talk to you…

Talkin' snowshoes

You know it’s time to go outside when your snowshoes start talking to you.  You can hear them, way out in the shed, begging you to get dressed in your warm winter clothes and come outside.

“HOW MANY DAYS ARE YOU GOING TO STAY IN THAT HOUSE, ANYWAY?”  the snowshoes shout.

You try to ignore them.  You cuddle up under more blankets on your couch and remind them that (through telepathy, of course) that you’ve been outside for 365 days in a row and you are “taking a break”.

The snowshoes aren’t buying it.

“GET ON OUT HERE, RIGHT NOW!” they shout.  “IT’S BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE TODAY!  IT’S WARM!  YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT!  HURRY UP!!!”

Finally, to shut them up, you pull on your white snowpants and blue fleece jacket and warm knitted cap and Sorel boots and dig the snowshoes out of the shed.

“Thank goodness,” is all they say,  “Thank goodness you’ve finally seen the light.”

Snowy stream

So you drive your car down the road (because you’re not willing to snowshoe that far…not yet…) and park the car near the Eagle Pond.  You remember how to strap on the snowshoes.  You remember last winter. 

Then comes the problem of the Gloves.  Here’s the conundrum:  if you wear fingered light gloves you’ll be able to operate the camera, but your digits will freeze.  If you wear warm knitted mittens (that your mom gave you last time she visited) you can’t take pictures.  So you finally decide to wear the flimsy gloves and stick them in your jacket in between photo shots.

Snow on shelf fungus

You leave the car and strike out into the woods.  Suddenly you’re ecstatic to be back out in nature!  (How could you have let that renegade voice convince you that you wanted to stay in the house for so long?)  It feels so fresh and invigorating! 

Yes, the fingers freeze rather quickly.  But it is 20 degrees and not -15 degrees, so why complain too much?

Natural art?

You meander.  Let the snowshoes go where they want.  After all, they were the ones that convinced you to enjoy this beautiful January day outdoors. 

You survey the landscape.  What interesting photos might whisper their own gifts to you?  You look carefully.  Up, down, around corners.  You try not to fall in the stream as you lean down very very close to capture a floating orange cedar.

Orange cedar

You think about the difference in landscape between the winter and summer.  Last summer you wandered here, surrounded by lush green.  It’s a different place today, a new place, an enchanted winter place.

The fingers are really cold now.  It’s time to go home.  First you must figure out how to climb back onto the road with the snowshoes.  The bank seems too steep.  You try; you can’t breach the plowed bank.

So what do you do?  You zip your camera in your pocket and crawl up and over the snow bank and arrive, victorious!, on the road beaming from ear to ear.  Glad no one saw that undignified crawl. 

And as happy as the snowshoes to be back in nature, exploring the woods.

Frozen spider home

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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23 Responses to When your snowshoes talk to you…

  1. Karen says:

    Your photos continue to amaze me! Glad you are back to blogging.

  2. Gerry says:

    Admit it, you had to crawl up the snowbank because you had your frozen hands tucked into your jacket Napoleon-style and couldn’t hold your arms out for balance. I think you need mitten clips. Then you can pull those nice mittens on between shots. Or no, wait, wait – you need a muff! A nice plump insulated muff with a little pocket inside for the camera!

    Napoleon needed a muff too, but he was too insecure in his masculinity to wear one.

    • Kathy says:

      I admit that I couldn’t use my hands for leverage up that snowbank because they were those wimpy little gloves and they would have been instantly soaked. I love the mitten clip idea, Gerry. Do you have ’em? However…Napolean and his muff…I better leave that one alone. LOL!

  3. Quietpaths says:

    Yes indeed, thank goodness you got up off the couch! You’ve got good hearing because I was sayin’ the same thing. *g* Love the snowy stream shots…

  4. Dawn says:

    First photo, I thought -ohhh, that’s pretty…next photo I thought…cool fungus!…next one.. well of course it’s wood art!..and on and on..loved each one even more than the one before. The frozen spiderweb? Never saw anything so lovely!

    And I’m laughing because I still have old fashioned snow shoes from when I lived up there in the early 80’s…big brown wooden ones that would not have been a help climbing over that snow bank! LOL!

    So glad I got to see up north in the snow…without getting out from under MY blankets on the sofa. OH! Probably shouldn’t have let you know that, ey?

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, this is one reason I had to return to blogging. So you could get some U.P. photos. Actually we have those old-fashioned snowshoes, too. Clunky brown ones. Two kinds (big bear paw and skinnier ones.) They’re so much clunkier to get on. These new ones are much nicer. Ha ha about being on the couch!

  5. winderjssc says:

    Totally excellent photographs. That one with snow piled high on the bracket fungus is terrific. It was worth you donning the snow shoes, wasn’t it?

    • Kathy says:

      I thought about both you, Jessica, and Amy when taking the bracket fungus photos. You both have such a patterned-detail eye. It was worth it to get outside.

  6. Cindy Lou says:

    Horray…you’re back outdoors with your photos and your musings! First I thought I was going to claim the snowy shelf photo as my favorite and then I saw the stream one and then I saw the spider web one so I had to have 3 favorites today! Greedy little girl, hey? 🙂

  7. fountainpen says:

    Flozen spiderwebs….I had never ever thought of a spiderweb freezing….but how wonderful to know about frozen spiderwebs now!!!!!!

    Goodness! How much you give all of us through your eyes and the lens of your good camera!

    Glad you had the conversation with your snowshoes!!!!!!!!!!!
    We all need to listen, listen, listen to whoever or whatever is calling…….

    Fountainpen

    • Kathy says:

      Fountainpen, I listened, really listened for what was calling today…and you had better go read the current blog. I think you should. 🙂

  8. p.j. grath says:

    Silly me! I thought all the snowshoes would be saying would be “Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!” In the snow, of course. (Did they say that, too?) Because I KNEW you would not be able to stay INDOORS for 365 days!

    • Kathy says:

      You want to know a secret, Pamela? Shhh, don’t tell. I have already been outside! A few times. But not for a long walk with camera in hand. But you know, you’re riht, maybe they were just saying “Squeak” and I was translating that into guilty prodding. But it worked!!

  9. flandrumhill says:

    Your snowshoes look so modern compared to my beaver gut ones (I think that’s what they’re made of!) We seldom have enough snow in Nova Scotia for me to use them as much as I did back in Northern Ontario.

    A snowshoe outing used to leave me with such painful leg muscles afterwards. Hope you had none of that!

    Like Jessica, I too really liked the image of the snowpiled shelf fungus. I wonder what else those shelves are used for when we humans aren’t traipsing around the woods…

    • Kathy says:

      Beaver gut snowshoes? Beaver gut? Please, a photo please! I want to know what a beaver gut snowshoe looks like. As you may have read above we have two old-fashioned snowshoes, plus this modern pair. But I didn’t walk long enough yesterday to get the leg muscles hurting, thank goodness.

      As for what else uses those shelves…you know. The fairies do. They have parties on them. I have it on the best of authority. 🙂

  10. Jane says:

    Looks like the web hole of one of my favorite arachnide… the Wolf Spider? Good eye to find that. What an excursion climbing that bank… no telling where that Buick will end up parked by the roadside, eh? LOL

    • Kathy says:

      Jane, you think it was a Wolf Spider? Oh my! I loved the size of that hole. And you keep an eye out for that Buick, will you? I have been out on Roland Lake/Sawmill Road within the last month!

  11. my gosh, your pictures today are so beautiful. I LOVE the one of the spiderweb. What am I saying, they are all totally awesome 🙂

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