Sunday's Walk in the Woods

in WEEKEND EXPERIENCES10 months ago (edited)

Hello, Friends!

Yesterday was the last day my friend Doof was in town, so we got together and hiked some of the logging trails/roads through the cedar swamps behind his old place.


It's interesting hiking through areas like these, versus the trails operated and maintained by the Nature Conservancies and their volunteers, because you see first-hand the contrast between the swamp and the clearcuts - feel them too by temperature differences - see the natural environment vs. industry, etc. etc., and have those interesting discussions of how, where, and when do we draw the line, and should we, and how doing so would affect both the environment and the economy for the local population.



Good close up here of Doof's old birch chaga tree

Cedars are interesting in that they take so long to grow and repopulate an area. Where we live it's compounded by a high deer population that gobble the saplings in the winter when food's scarce. So if you really look, you see an ecosystem that largely fails to regenerate and becomes full of poplars, spruces, possibly some hardwoods depending on the water saturation and elevation.

On the other hand, in an area with few employment opportunities offering good wages for locals besides a limestone quarry, a prison, and a logging industry...

So these discussions rarely, if ever, offer a clear conclusion for the average hiker like me and like Doof. A sadness permeates the hike, as well as an appreciation for what remains, and finally a cynicism that most views like these remain tucked away from the main roadways.



Just a bit older than all of us

It's worth noting too that all of the existing swamps are at least second growth swamps that came after a first wave (or two) of logging in the 19th century (and possibly earlier as well - my history is shamefully shit) and before the deer came in such large numbers to replace the caribou. I've heard one of my great-great (maybe -great) grandfathers on my mother's side was some crazed drunken gun-wielding French Canadian logger...!

Environmental sadness and conundrums aside, it was a gorgeous hike. There was just that depth of snow in the warmer sections of the road where, with winter boots on, it made for real tough going. Pretty soon, my hat, gloves, and jacket were off, and I was still puffing and sweating like a madman.


Eventually we hiked to the Pit, where everything opens and you feel as though you're standing in the middle of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, at least in the winter months. It's honestly beautiful. The pictures, both on the ground and from the top of the bowl, don't do it justice.



Winter is my favorite season, and I always regret to see it go. Something about its silence is so appealing and inviting, especially when you're out walking in it. It's just you, the crunch of your boots, and the hollowness of the wind, like the earth is welcoming you, and only you, to enjoy its season of hibernation. Work up enough energy when you're out in it and soon you don't even feel the cold... or when you do, it's refreshing as anything else in the world.

Thank you for spending part of my Sunday and also part of my thoughts on it with me. I hope you enjoyed them as well as the pictures. Be well, my friends!


Nature there looks almost identical to here in Estonia, there really is no difference. Even the same animal population you talk about lol.

It's so damn beautiful here. That's wild it's that close to your nature in Estonia. Although maybe not too surprising, most of my maternal grandfather's lineage is Scandanavian so perhaps many came here looking to replicate what they knew from home. Is ice fishing as big for you all as it is for us here too?

Well, judging by the nearby lake we have here, I can see many fishermen on the ice during winters 😀

Hell yeah! That's awesome. Our ice is turning that darker grey and the township government's already banned the ice shanties for the season, but there are still plenty of people walking out to keep at it 😄

yeah, and every year there are cases of people falling through and drowning sadly. Some people don't think munch.

Yeah. We had one guy here who drove his very heavy 1980/90s SUV out on the ice this year and naturally sunk it through... then he and his wife spent most of the next day whining on Facebook about the fines they received for it. Lol.

Luckily we don't have many drownings. We also have a superb local ambulance corp which regularly trains for that kind of behavior/emergencies.

Lol, instead of whining they should be celebrating a life they still have. I would never drive on random icy lake. The only way I would go is on a official ice roads that open on some cold winters.

What a lovely place 😍. Love your photography. In my country the weather is unbearable 😫 hot. You are so lucky. Love the environment, trees 🌳 specially the snow ❄ 😍.

Thank you so much! Every day I remind myself how fortunate I am to live here, and was to be born here. Heat absolutely destroys me, even 80-85F. Haha, I have no tolerance.

You are amazing person inside and outside. Lots of respect and love ❤

I took a minute to look at some of your posts - your area of the world is incredibly beautiful, and your photography is amazing!

Thank you 😊 and lots of love ❤.

Digging the nature pictures mate... thanks for sharing.

Thank you! I'll have more as the seasons do their seasony thing 😄

What a great way to spend part of your Sunday and I bet the pups had a blast on a walk like that. Ecosystems are fascinating, and nature will be nature, I wonder how many of the saplings avoid the ravages of the deer!

It was so nice! And the pups loved it, running on the road, disappearing in the woods, roaming out in the open. I'm sure some of the saplings avoid the deer but not too many - they're a hungry bunch!

Yeah I can imagine the pups having a blast, it is great to let them loose. Yea we have deer here and they have to deer protect the saplings with wire fences and the like!

Yeah! We have to fence in any new saplings we plant. I was thinking it would be really cool to do it with a bunch of cedar saplings in the swampy areas for 10-20 years to give them a real leg-up.

I was thinking it would be really cool to do it with a bunch of cedar saplings in the swampy areas for 10-20 years to give them a real leg-up.

👏👏👏 That would be awesome if you did that. Respect to you if you do 😁

I'll toss some pics up if I ever do!

👍 that would be cool!

I think I would like winter more here in Scotland if we got proper snow. S lot of the time we have really wet winters so even when it does snow it goes all slushy and horrible. Looks like a great hike!!

Proper snow makes a huge difference. Winters without it feel like there isn't much of a point to them. Although our winters have been a little wacked the last 10 years or so. One was so icy people were falling and breaking all sorts of bones. Another was so snowy we had to shovel off our roofs multiple times. This one was a little light on snow but just the right temperatures, about -20F for a good 4-6 weeks overnight. But the last snow we got was a sloppy wet mess and my back wasn't too pleased that I decided to have at the driveway!

That sloppy wet stuff is our standard. Looks pretty on the mountains but in the lower lands we are all sliding about on ice and soaking wet all the time,!

Ugggghhhh no thank you! If that was all we got all the time the tone of my winter posts would be just a bit different lol

I suspect there would be a bitterness to them!! :0D

Introduce a couple of wolves to sort out that deer problem. Birch will be flying in no time. 😀

Didn't even mention it, probably should've - the locals kill the coyotes and wolves. Then wonder at all the fucking deer corpses littering the sides of roads and their wrecked cars lol

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I miss having dogs and open land for them to roam. I'm beginning to think I won't make it through the year without getting one.

Still not missing the snow. Missing the sun. It's been showing up more frequently the last week or two, but it's still not reliably warm weather yet.

I'm seriously thinking about getting one. I've never had one before - these here are Doof's and his brother in-law's. I never liked dogs much until I met Doof's about 7 years ago and realized over the course of the evening that she had trained me to get her food. Then it was like the Grinch's heart grew three times, and now dogs love me and I love them lol.

Yeah man it's time for the sun here, too. The snow's steadily melting away and the grey skies aren't cutting it any more.

I have a great appreciation for animals. Dogs are so lovable for so many reasons but I adore the purity, and intensity, of whatever emotion they’re experiencing at any given moment.

I like cats for the same reasons except with the added appreciation of knowing they technically aren’t domesticated, and respect for our relative size isn’t love. 🤣

Yeah! Dogs are just so earnest. One of these days I'll have to record when I go to another friends house... their dogs lose their minds when I walk in and I always feel like the most special person in the world.

Cats are evil and I love them too lol