Weather or not: The art of hiking from home

So fellow travelers, I woke this morning to howling winds and white out conditions.


SOC shot of the view from my bedroom this morning blurry from blowing snow.


Looks like Ma Nature’s big April Fool’s joke this year was to send us snow in a bit more abundance than the “scattered snow showers,” originally forecast. I scurried downstairs to check the bird feeders which I topped off yesterday in anticipation of our spring migrants needs for extra fuel to stay warm through this cold snap.

A mound of snow blew in the back door telling me I would need to retrieve the shovels from the garage where I had foolishly stashed them a few days ago. I should know better than to put them away before Memorial Day Weekend, after all its not unheard of for Lake Ontario to send me snow for Mother’s Day.

Delilah declined to leave the back deck until a path was cleared, then promptly dashed around the yard sticking her head into snow drifts in search of critter trails.

snowbankDD1   snowbankDD2

The crowd around the feeder scattered only as far as the nearby pin cherry tree by the pond, chattering urgently as I refilled the feeder and seed trays.  They barely waited for me to retreat more than a few steps away before descending to feast voraciously.  I could see I would need to refill the feeder again well before days end.


Patient little Junco waiting to dart down into the crows and redwing blackbirds  feasting below

It was the blustery winds which put an end to my plans for another Sunday hike. I don’t mind hiking in snow; I have sturdy boots, warm socks and liners, plenty of layers to pile on and a light weight walking stick with depth markings along the side. Unlike my over confident stashing of snow shovels, I don’t put away my flannel lined hiking pants and fleece sweatshirts because even in the dead of summer they might be called into service on a chilly night camping by Lake Ontario or in the Adirondacks. Wind however is a deal breaker and I will avoid hiking in it if I have that choice. My ears were frostbitten when I was very young and remain sensitive to wind. They ache even in warm summer breezes; I have quite the collection of earmuffs, headbands and colorful bandannas to keep them covered.

After coming to terms with the weather induced change of plans, I realized I could still visit a favorite trail by working on a post I started about my Spring Equinox hiking trip. So right after this next round of shoveling and refilling feeders, I will download photos from my DSLR, fire up the photo editor on my laptop and get to work with a nice mug of steaming hot chocolate.


sneak preview of this year Spring Equinox hike…..Stay tuned !

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Deborah H Rahalski


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