It's a beautiful, sunny day here in Western New York. I decided that it was entirely too nice a day to stay inside. So, off I went with my trusty walking stick, and my camera.
I didn't even have to get out of the yard, before I saw the cutest set of little mouse tracks.
I took the easy way into the woods. Back in the '20's there was a house way back in the woods, very near the Bay. The only way to get back to it was by a wagon trail that they cut into the woods. Most of that trail is grown over, but the beginning parts of it still exist. Makes walking a lot easier.
After the wagon trail ended, I followed the deer paths. I came upon these tracks. Unfortunately, they were filled with a dusting of snow. They're about the size of a man's hand. We're not supposed to have bear around here, and, what would he be doing out in the middle of the winter, anyways? I suppose it will remain a mystery.
Some green still remains in the woods in winter. I was pleased to see this fern, under a coating of snow.
Oh dear, look what I found, a hunter's stand. All this land is posted. I have permission from both land owners to walk back here, but there aren't supposed to be any hunters. I'll tell the land owner about it. He's torn them out of the trees before.
I don't worry about putting water out for the birds. This little stream runs from just behind my house, all the way to the bay. As other little streams join it, it gets bigger and bigger.
Uh Oh, no further.
Next time, I'll reverse my comings and goings. The land slopes down dramatically to the bay, and, climbing back up was not nearly as easy as going down. Every hill seemed steeper. I did see some interesting stuff, though. I'll just go down the hills, and up the deer/wagon trail next time.
Way back in the woods, I came upon this track. I don't know if it's a coyote, a fox or a dog. I'm leaning towards fox, because there was only one set of tracks, and coyotes travel in packs. There is a leash law around here, so dogs aren't supposed to be running free.
My friend in Washington State will like these next pictures, not only for the lichens, but for the history of the region. This part of the country was once under Lake Ontario, back before the last ice age. You can actually tell where the lake ended because the soil changes from sand to clay. Boulders like this lichen covered one exist because the land was under the glaciers. These boulders are glacial drops, carried along hundreds of miles from where they originated, only to be dropped here, when the glaciers retreated.
Mr. Squirrel got lucky, and remembered where he buried this nut. Looks like, maybe, he found a sprouting skunk cabbage, also.
I was finally getting near the end of my hike. I have to get into shape. I'll sleep well tonight, but I'll definitely need some Aleve. Just before I came out of the woods, I came upon "Turkey Road."
And learned something new about them. Apparently they like to scratch through piles of old leaves. Looking for insects and seeds, I presume.
I'm tired, but, I'm glad I went. I plan on going again, as the seasons change. Until, that is, the poison ivy sprouts. Then, I stay strictly out of there.