Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Trip to the Woods

Today we went out to the woods to take down the last of our tree stands from deer hunting. The archery season ended on December 31. Other than being overcast and somewhat foggy, today was a pretty nice day--temps around 30 and not too windy.

It's nice to go out to the woods in the winter because there are always lots of tracks in the snow and it's a good way to gather information about deer and turkeys for our hunting seasons next year.

There were lots of turkey tracks--everywhere!
Who's following who??

We saw a few turkeys on the ground and also scared quite a few out of the trees -- but they fly way too fast for me to get any pictures.

Here's a fungus-covered tree -- especially for Jennifer. I thought of you many times this morning Jenn, you would have loved being out on this winter trip in the woods.

There are some pretty big white pines in this area where we hunt, but here's a picture of the Granddaddy of them all! My spousal unit is a pretty big guy, but he's dwarfed by this huge pine. It's pretty cool to see a tree this large.

The first stand we decided to take down was at the river bottom. While the spousal unit was taking care of business, I had some time to follow deer tracks down by the river.

There's still open water in a few spots and I took this little video to share (sorry about the loud breathing--I'll have to be more aware of that in future films)

There used to be beavers in this river and some of the evidence of their tree-cutting skills still remains. I'm not sure what happened to them....there's been some pretty major flooding for the past several years or maybe someone trapped them. Anyway, they're not around any longer and I miss them.

Here's a spot where a deer bedded down for the night. They can curl up so tight to stay warm and sleep in the snow.

Trying to climb up steep hills in the slippery snow gave me a few opportunities to see things a little closer to the ground. I thought these weeds sticking out of the snow looked kind of pretty.

This turkey feather was just laying on top of the snow. Turkeys have the most beautiful feathers!

Here's my spousal unit packing all of our tree stands and climbing steps back to the car. This little sled works pretty good--sure beats carrying all of that heavy stuff like we used to!


Richard said...

Great day to be out in the woods. I even ventured out for awhile. Tomorrow is suppose to be even better.

mon@rch said...

Looks like a wonderful day and I hope the weather is better! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of work, first putting it all up and then taking it all down, but it did pay off for you in the end, a full freezer. I liked all the things you saw in the snow, I know I'm always looking down so I can see where I'm going. I hate to make a misstep and fall. Thanks for the trip to the woods, that's something I love to do.

Trixie said...

Your SU is a big guy and that is one *huge* pine. Amazing. How nice to hear water in winter. I hope you have a nice day tomorrow.

Mary said...

After the snowfall ends and everything is calm - winds soft - my favorite winter fun was dressing warm and taking long walks with Gina and a bunch of kids and their moms/dads. It was so beautiful! I think I would drive to the mountains to do that again one day.

Good thing you had your camera and noticed those tracks. The water where the beavers were...kind of sad. I bet you do miss them.

Jennifer said...

Today I did the mommy thing... took the girls to the mall to try to spend some of their Christmas money... Would much rather have been with you! You sure saw a LOT of cool stuff. (The brown "weeds" are the spore cases of Senstive Fern.) Wish I had been with you!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a wonderful winter outing. I wish I could have gone out with you. I usually miss a good nature photo becasue I am awed by the sight. Even tho turkeys are big they are fast.

Meggie said...

That is one HUGE white pine! Looks like a great day to romp in the woods. You and spousal unit look like you got quite a bit accomplished. Thanks for the lesson on turkey tracks.

Jayne said...

Now THAT'S a pine tree! Love the little tracks in the snow.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Richard,
I'm glad we went on Saturday--it was definitely the better day of the weekend for us.

Hi Monarch,
It was so nice that it was tough remembering it was only the first week of January! Lots of winter left yet.....

Hi Mom,
It's always a lot easier taking them no mosquitoes to deal with like when we were putting them up. Glad you enjoyed the hike.

Hi Trixie,
I only get down to this area once or twice a winter, but there's always something neat to see and hear.

Hi Mary,
A winter hike in the woods is always more fun if there's someone to share it with. We're lucky we only have to drive about 20 miles and not all the way to the mountains!
I took my camera along special since I knew there would be some good things to see and photograph.

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for the info on the sensitive fern....I figured they might be a fern of some sort, but I knew you'd know what they were. Now I'll have to see if I can find them in the spring and see what they look like when they're alive and green.
Saturday at the mall?? You're a much braver woman than I'll ever be! ;-)

Hi Lisa,
It was fun--I could have spent most of the afternoon down there because there was so much to see.

Hi Meggie,
I had forgotten how big that pine tree is. There are also some bald eagles down here and the next time I go, I'm going to see if I can figure out where their nest is.

Hi Jayne,
Isn't that an amazing tree? I wish I knew how old it was or how a person would go about estimating its age. Next time I go I need to take a tape measure and see how big around it is.

KGMom said...

Every time you write "spousal unit" I giggle, when I read that. It conjures up visions of a robotic guy--saying in a tinny voice: I am your spousal unit.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
....and in the ideal world, he would finish the sentence by saying, "and I am here to do your bidding." Oh well, a girl can dream!

Larry said...

Even though I'm not in to hunting(I have no problem eating game though!), being in the woods is always a great experience

RuthieJ said...

You got that right, Larry. I was a little disappointed there weren't many birds around that day though. Mostly raptors--saw the red-tailed hawk and bald eagle and a few crows, plus a nuthatch and downy woodpecker. It's a much birdier area in the spring and summer and I'll have to take a hike down there in spring during warbler migration. The water seems to attract them.