Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Valley icy February day ... a walk in the winter woods

The woods behind our house lead up to the small mountain ridge and have a stream, rock outcroppings, underbrush, trees, and lots of animal tracks. Today there were dozens of deer tracks but we also have wild turkeys, black bears, coyotes, and the little fellas such as raccoons and opossums.
Even though the temperatures was 26 degrees in the woods, the ground was soft enough to see deer tracks such as this one.
Overgrown weeds that normally bend away were ice-covered and creaked as I waded through them, following this deer highway deeper into the woods. I shivering in the icy wind as my cold fingers worked the camera.
The tree shapes are interesting especially with the icy white background ...
... and this old tree with the knot hole probably housed a creature or two.
The gray, overcast sky made everything appear shrouded ...
... and as I turned to head back home, this deer highway led the way. The woods are quiet in the winter weather ... a place to think and feel the cold on your face and be away from everything. That's the beauty of western Augusta County ... that's the beauty of the mountains ... that's the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know,
 His house is in the village though.
 He will not see me stopping here,
 To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 My little horse must think it queer,
 To stop without a farmhouse near,
 Between the woods and frozen lake,
 The darkest evening of the year.

 He gives his harness bells a shake,
 To ask if there is some mistake.
 The only other sound's the sweep,
 Of easy wind and downy flake.

 The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
 But I have promises to keep,
 And miles to go before I sleep,
 And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
22 February 2011

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