12 Jan 2012

Spikes for my footwear

The weather here has been very unpredictable with temperatures that are very unseasonable.  The result is that we have had freeze and  thaw conditions almost all winter so far.  On Monday the weather was so nice, I decided to visit the ravine located not too far from my home.   Many people walk their dogs here or just stretch their legs and enjoy the ravine.  It is one of my favorite places to go since I discovered it last year.  The trail therein is long, with a couple of steep hills and it branches off nicely in many directions.

The first branch in the trail
When I entered the ravine, it looked like the path was clear enough at first.  Not soon after though, I was forced to walk along the edge of the path where the snow hadn't been packed down by many feet, melted and frozen again.  The path was sheer ice.  A little further and I realized I couldn't continue on unless I walked under the trees where there was very little or no snow.  That worked, until I was confronted with dense and impassible bush.  I heard a Pileated Woodpecker and tried to follow, going in a different direction without success.  The birds were singing, but because I was underneath them, I couldn't get a good view through the viewfinder of my camera.  Needless to say I wasn't impressed. 

Still passable on one side
Going up

I encountered a couple of people who were having the same difficulties, but like them I attempted to press on.  When I topped the first relatively small hill though, I could see that the icy conditions continued in a steep rise over the next hill, although there was a clear space temptingly just in front of me.  My frustration was complete.  I felt defeated, but it would be reckless to continue and I knew it.  You see, me and Ice don't get along.  Confrontations generally result in broken bones for me.  Not something that I need.

 At this point a gentleman walked passed me without a care in the world, followed by three Scottish Terriers.  He was having no trouble what so ever.  As he passed he smiled, and no doubt having observed my difficulty in negotiating the trail, advised, as he pointed at his feet, that I should buy spikes for my shoes and where to buy them.  Bless his heart.  Needless to say I thanked him, before I turned around and headed back, with renewed hopes for future birding in the ravine this winter.

Flock of Bohemian Waxwings fly over
Pair of Bohemian Waxwings

I managed to snap a few photos of some Bohemian waxwings when I left the ravine, but nothing spectacular as you can see.  My next act, being a somewhat determined person, was to head straight for the mall, where I purchased spikes for my footwear.  

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