In Our Woods

A couple of weekends ago we didn’t travel far to get outside.  We just headed into our woods for a short stroll.  Prior to this, Lindsay and Andrew put on snowshoes for a short walk in our woods and Alden got upset that he didn’t have a pair of his own.  So after several inquiries to friends about hand-me-downs, we ended up buying a pair from LLBean.  They are a little big and Alden can’t really walk in them, but he gets excited to put on his own snowshoes.  They will be perfect for next winter and maybe the following one too.

Alden and Andrew with their snowshoes.

Alden and Andrew with their snowshoes.

We immediately found deer tracks criss-crossing throughout the woods.  It looks like a lot of tracks, but we think it’s really just one deer.  Alden really liked looking at the deer scat we found and even asked to look at it again and again.  We also found several sheltered evergreen areas where the deer has bedded down for the night.

After the snowshoes proved too difficult for Alden, Andrew walked him into the woods.

After the snowshoes proved too difficult for Alden, Andrew walked him into the woods.

In addition to finding sign of red squirrel, deer, and mouse, the coolest sign was multiple ruffed grouse nocturnal snow roosts.  You can see in the photos below how the grouse tunneled under the snow to keep warm overnight and with a flap of the wings took off in the morning.  A couple of the roost sites we also could see walking tracks and scat.

Ruffed grouse will dive into deep snow to roost for the night, staying warm under the snow insulation.

Ruffed grouse will dive into deep snow to roost for the night, staying warm under the snow insulation.

We walked to the back perimeter of our property and followed an old logging road through the neighbors woods.  We found some trees that porcupines had been chewing on and ambled our way down toward the road.  All of sudden Andrew’s snowshoes, which were holding together with just a few strings, snapped.  Lindsay joked that we were now in an episode of “Dual Survival” and picked out a shelter spot.  Andrew managed to hang on to part of his shoe and we quickly made our way out of the woods to the road so Andrew could pull off both snowshoes.  I guess it’s time for Andrew to get a new pair too!

While we were out there we didn’t see any wildlife, but we sure saw lots of sign all within a 5 minute walk from home.

A nice walk!

A nice walk!

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