“Into the Woods”

“Into the woods I venture, always pleased when I encounter new and unexpected sights.” – Ed Lehming

I was pleased to be back on the forest trails again today. Last weekend was a tough hike, with melting snow and slush making ever step an adventure in balance, even with my cleats on. Today, the forest floor was coated with a fresh coat of snow and temperatures and re-frozen the slush of last week, providing a fresh and solid base to walk on. Conditions were perfect for cross-country skiing and I encountered many others enjoying just that.

Fresh snow also reveals the activity of the many forest dwelling animals, though I rarely encounter much more than squirrels and chipmunks in the area due to the many dog walkers and activity. However, today was an exception and I was pleased to see a pine marten crossing the trail just ahead of me. I was travelling light and had just my phone with me, so the opportunity for a good image of the martin was not to be today. However, it was a thrill just to see one in this area. I’m used to seeing them further north, so this sighting was particularly enjoyable. It’s also a testament to the health of this managed forest.

He did not hang around very long, but did take a moment to give me a look before venturing deeper into the forest, leaving only tracks to mark his passing. I snapped a photo of that moment and turned it into a digital painting which I felt communicated the forest scene with a bit more impact than just the photo. The image also, as happens frequently, inspired the title for today’s post. I hope you enjoy it.

Phone 12 Pro @ 26 mm
1/1208 sec, f/1.6, ISO 32

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