“To appreciate the true beauty of a snowflake, one must go out into the cold.” -Aristotle
One of my favorite times to hike is in the winter. The forest opens up. The trees display their true personalities. The fungi that have been dormant as the leaves were out, begin to flourish and deepen in color. The evergreens persist in their beauty and promise of eternal life.
The creeks freeze and flow and shift. Mother earth shrugs her shoulders and trees fall, rocks split, ice and water do their sculpting magic. Places, once muddy, freeze into upheavals of fairy ice castles. They crunch under our feet as we make our way through the frozen forest. Our cheeks are red and eyes bright with the excitement a day filled with sun and snow.
When it gets really, really cold and stays that way for about a week, the waterfalls freeze. It is fun to watch the ice sculptures as they are created on the creeks and rivers, day by day becoming thicker and thicker.
Winter is also an excellent time to view wildlife. We were lucky enough to have a visit from this eagle on a cold January day. Elk also abound in these hills. I will leave you with a video of our frozen waterfall.