Tag Archives: #walkinthewoods

At Peace in the Forest

20160105_132143.jpgI walked in the woods. It was cold. The chill on my face was cold enough for me to notice. I thought that maybe it was cold enough to freeze condensation into my moustache. The snow was hard. It was frozen, molded by the beings that had trodden there before me. My steps were my own, but nearly every one of them landed where another had trod this space recently. My own passage through this place was loud and I wondered who, or what else, knew I was there. I assumed that all animals were keenly aware of my presence. When I stopped to tickle the depths of my throat with the crisp, clean, cold air, I heard nothing else. Save, the fluttering beech nut leaves that clung in the slight winter’s breeze to the twig that gave them life. Now and again I heard the pop of some piece of tree bark that finally succumbed to the temperatures. But for man, I heard nothing. I listened to my heartbeat as my eyes and ears sought out other sounds deep in the forest. The trickle of distant water half covered in ice seemed so loud even when it was still far enough away that I could not see it. The steps I took were in earnest as I couldn’t wait to get to a place where the path ran away to disappear somewhere around the next bend. Finally, after checking a spot along a trail that I had not explored before, I noticed that the foot prints in the snow ended, reversing themselves along the trail as they had entered.20160105_133126.jpg

Ahhh, I looked around and made no haste in determining my new direction. As a matter of fact, I even removed my heavy outer layer of clothing as I had created too much heat on my walk into the woods. I stripped down to my bare back in order to cool down and make sure all layers of my clothing were dry. I was worried that if my shirts were wet, and my pace slowed in the shadows of hills and forest, that I might quickly get too cold. It was only 14°F with a wind chill in the single digits back in the forest. I re-layered, and I wore the heaviest layer like a belt around my waist, because I knew if I was moving, I would be warm enough. I did not want to cut my time short, for there aren’t enough hours available to fully enjoy this landscape already.

Then I decided it would be the tiny deer tracks that I saw, tracks that made the faintest of impressions on the snow dust, like a thin layer of powdered sugar covering the crusted snow, was where I would follow. I walked in the woods. I walked on crusted snow. There were no other foot steps. There was no trail. I followed some animal tracks, but mostly just the lay of the land. The crusted snow was slick in spots but I thought of how much more difficult this walk would be in the summer months of growth. I knelt by a small stream to listen while my eyes searched for each instrument that played such a rhythmic trickle. I looked through the crystal clear sheet of ice and watched the water flow over the bed of the stream. I followed the land and its ease of passage feeling for the contours I would seek if looking at a map of the terrain. I came upon a large wetland that was fed by several small streams, a couple of which I had encountered during my walk. I skirted around the wetland checking the tracks in the snow and noticing the age of the massive fir trees around me. I noticed almost no hard wood trees and figured that the land had been cleared generations before me. Then as the ground rose, away from the water, I noticed a super highway of animal tracks. There were deer, muskrat, turkey, bobcat, coyote, otter, and another bird tracks that I wasn’t sure of. There was probably even more tracks that I missed. But during my time there, only the water, the wind, and I were moving. I stood in silence and let the sun warm my face, as I daydreamed of being there in that spot on some early, early morning to see all the activity connected to the tracks I saw. 20160105_133155.jpg

I listened to the sounds, the silence found in the absence of sound. I talked with my Lord aloud. I figured the nature around me was already familiar with The Lord Almighty, and that it would be just fine to speak aloud. I prayed aloud. I prayed in reverence. I prayed a thankful prayer. I prayed for the vision and attentiveness to notice the awesomeness of the Lord’s works in so many people, places, and things that I encounter every day. I prayed for my Dad, for my whole family, and for many more. I prayed for our leaders to boldly go where true leaders must go. I prayed for God’s direction for them, for me, for my family, for us all. I prayed about a lot of things. I talked openly with God. Finally I prayed for more opportunities to be in such wild and natural places as often as His will would allow. For me, there’s a calming, encompassing, peace and a connection to God that is unmistakable when truly engaged in the forest. For all of life that whisks by us in a blur that seems to be an endless loop at times, I was so grateful for these couple of hours in nature. I knew I had other commitments that I needed to attend to, so I made my way out of the forest, reluctantly returning to reality. As I left the woods and was returning to the places I needed to be, I saw a large, beautiful, wandering coyote going about his or her day. I smiled and I thought, perfect, I am leaving, let the animals return to their business. 20160105_133840.jpg

North Uncanoonuc Foliage

Back on the 1st of November, I tackled a short, but quite steep hike up North Uncanoonuc Mountain. The trail climbs quickly even if it’s really quite short. The real prize though, was getting to the top of the undeveloped mountain and seeing all the wonderful views in various directions. I can only imagine how many generations of native americans, and then settlers, who had climbed this same mountain to see what there was to see from the top.

Color in the shadows

Rocks and holes

Looking up at red

Window with a view

Colors close to the top

Depth of color inspire the climb

On north looking to South

Looking at Manchester

South Moutain and Manchester in the valley

The old and the young

The end

Shades of red

North Uncanoonuc top

Looking at South Uncanoonuc Mountain

Gallery

The Walk to Lost Lake

This gallery contains 21 photos.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite photos from my hike into Lost Lake. All Photos by 1inawesomewonder ©. Click “View Slide Show” or click on any of the pictures, to scroll through the images on Onedrive.Live.com. Lost … Continue reading

Walking in the mountain place of the bear

In researching online, some local trails to pursue, I came across the Kuncanowet Town Forest and Conversation Area. I am so glad that I did. This area is, in my opinion, breathtakingly beautiful. I haven’t even explored all of it yet, and I am taken by its overall setting and beauty. Thanks also to Dunbarton Hikes for the useful videos I found on YouTube. God-willing, I will be back in these woods again soon. Enjoy my attempts to capture the magnificent through the lens of my camera; it’s better in person.

Color the woods

At every turn color awaits in this beautiful place.

Shades of yellow and green

The shadows hide from the light, but both seem so perfect here.

Mill Pond Peace

I couldn’t help but smile as this scene opened up in front of me.

Mill Pond Color

Who needs a structure where everything is put together just right.

Leaves in the Sky

Leaves and lilypads in the sky.

Reflection upside down

Nature defines the what’s up and what’s down out here.

Beauty after life

And, long after life has gone, beauty remains.

Along the treeline

Generations of trees appear to be in order here.

Still water reflection

Not a mistake, but if it were, blame the beavers.

Height of color

Below the pond these pines beg you to stand up and take notice.

Old mill site

The beavers now look after the pond that supported this old mill site.

Walking the Uncanoonucs

 

Trailhead View

Looking past the reservoirs out to the hills.

Fallen

Fallen leaves soften the trail.

Trickle

A small brook trickles through the colors.

Backdrop

Sometimes the woods just describe their own picture.

Depth of color

Beautiful fall colors at all levels.

Wild window

Windows in the woods only reveal themselves when present.

Ablaze

From the ground the colors climbed like a flame.

Corridor Color

Oh to feel the power of the One who colors each leaf and needle.

Corridor Color 2

The colors shine brightly without any help from man’s creation.

Beaver done

Maybe only the forest’s hardest worker built this.

Flood of color

I sat in the beaver’s back yard and took in the sights.

Water fraction

Just a little water running, but the sound filled the space.

Fall in the Forest

Oh, but the joy is all mine when I wander in from the edge just to listen and have a look around.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image