“What Season is it?”
“Seasons blend and confound, spring is fall and fall is spring; my senses are overwhelmed by the shear beauty of the confusion.” – Ed Lehming
I spent most of the day out on the trails yesterday. The forecast was for milder than usual temperatures and the day exceeded expectations. I spent the day outdoors in a long sleeved tee shirt, with my sleeves rolled up. The sun shone brightly above and had already started the process of drying the muddy tracks. I brought my ice cleats with me, just in case, which felt very odd, given the warm temperatures.
It was an incredible day of what felt like blended seasons. If I did not know it was March I would have sworn this was late October. The ground was drying, leaves rustled in the breeze and wildlife was plentiful. I even had the opportunity to enjoy two owls, high in the treetops.
Meltwater-fed creeks flowed gently through the valleys and snow seemed pretty much absent. Then, as I crested a hill and surveyed the valley ahead of me the world switched suddenly to winter, with the main trail completely covered in wet ice. I have never been so happy for my cleats. This icy path continued for some four kilometers till the trail rose out of the valley and the world around me transformed again.
As my hike continued I made some photos of a gently flowing brook and as I completed my shots I heard the distinctive sound of a Barred Owl, hooting deep in a pine grove. I followed the sound and caught a glimpse of the owl departing its roost for a nearby tree with a better vantage point of me. I slowly approached it and got some decent images, which I will share in an future post. Owls are fascinating creatures and I stood on a hillside simply admiring it as it looked back at me, taking time to groom itself every now and then before departing. Once my own time was concluded, I turned to head back to the trail to experience the scene above. It looked like late fall with a few orange leaves still hanging on and bright sunlight shining through the canopy. It was lovely but somewhat confusing, yet all a part of this wonderful day out in nature.
iPhone 12 Pro @ 4.2 mm
1/600 sec, f/1.6, ISO 32