Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow and more snow

The Maritimes were hit with a nor'easter yesterday.  A nor'easter being a storm where the winds blow in from the north east.  That meant it was a snow day.  Unfortunately with the snow coming down and the wind howling there wasn't much chance of getting outside so instead I spent my time keeping the fire glowing and doing some filing.  Not much fun at all.  However with tax season looming I decided it was a good day to get this chore off my plate.  Jane you'd be so proud of me, after I finished my filing, I even put together a monthly budget.  Now I know where all my money's going.  Thankfully I'm not as broke as I had thought, however it seems I'm spending all the surplus on gardening.

When I awoke this morning I discovered it was a glorious day.  To reward myself for working so hard yesterday I decided to take myself out for a walk.  I had the day off again from work so it was a perfect chance to get outdoors.  But it was not to be an ordinary walk.  After all the snow that blew in snowshoes were required.  This time I took a good photo of them for those of you who haven't seen snowshoes before.

The nylon straps fit around your boot and keep the 'shoes' attached to your feet.  The 'shoe' itself is made from plastic and aluminum which means they are very lightweight.  On the bottom of the shoe is a cleat for added traction which allows you to climb or descend hills.

The metal cleat has sharp teeth to grip the snow
Snowshoes distribute your body weight more evenly over the snow so that you don't sink as much.  The key words here are AS MUCH.  You still sink in the snow, just less than you normally would.  This means that walking takes a lot of effort.  Think of it like walking through sand.  Your feet sink in and with each step you have to pull your foot out of the snow and then take a step.  It's extra effort for your leg muscles.  Which means snowshoeing is twice as much work as walking.  So my walk round to the beach and back that normally takes a half hour or so now takes well over an hour.  Not that I'm complaining.  It's great exercise and on a day like today it was wonderful to be outside.

My first stop on my walk was the compost bin.

I find it interesting how the wind shapes the snow here.  Can you see the deep ridge around the bin?  The snow stops short of any objects and sweeps around it.  You can see this better when looking at the garage.

There's a wide path directly around the garage where there is next to no snow, you can even see the grass peeking through.  But beyond that path there is a high ridge of snow circling the building.  If you look to the right of the garage that ridge is really evident.  Further along my walk I watched the shadows of the trees that appeared across the drifts of snow.

I didn't see any human footprints today but I wasn't alone.  Many animal tracks were to be seen.

These are dog tracks of some sort.  I can't be sure what kind of dog though.  It could be the neighbours dog, a fox or even a coyote.

My walk takes me down a private dirt road that isn't plowed in winter.  The snow is deep, discouraging many, making this a wonderfully private walk in the woods.

The white church at the end of the road blends in with the snow at this time of year.  I can barely see it through the trees.

Once I'm past the church the road draws close to the ocean.  A small creek flows out to meet the salty water and forms a tidal estuary.  The grasses are covered in snow at this time of year but the flowing water remains relatively clear.

These steps lead into the cove where we swim in the summers.  On hot days the shallow waters heat up quickly and it's a very comfortable place to take a swim.  In winter the shallow water freezes quickly.

These cliffs, normally shining red, are now covered in snow and ice.  A good thing as it helps to prevent erosion during winter storms.

If this winter wonderland is giving you the chills, come take this same walk with me in summer by clicking here.


  1. This was a wonderful winter walk. I never used snowshoes before, but may have strapped on the skis. The cove is beautiful with its covering of ice and the shot of the church, was so idyllic.

  2. Thanks for sharing those photos of the snowshoes. I had never seen such things before. They look much more high-tech than what I imagined in my mind. I think, though, that you and I have a very different interpretation of "glorious day." My idea would be 75 deg F at noon with no wind. And I have walked through deep drifts of snow before, in sneakers albeit, and it was NOT a pleasant thing.

    However, your white wintry scenes are quite breathtaking. I love that last photo!

  3. I liked clicking the link at the very end, after the tour of all your snowy scenes, and seeing the same walk in summer!

  4. You live in a lovely area, Margeurite, and I see you're taking advantage of that, no matter the season!
    Love the summer view at the end - can't wait for it to come!

  5. Thank you for sharing your winter walk. The cove is beautiful and the cliffs covered in snow are structurally so interesting with all the snow.

  6. I so very much enjoyed the winter walk with you and following the link to the spring photos. You live in a wonderful area, surrounded by beauty and take full advantage of it all. That is so great!

  7. I should get a pair of those new fangled snowshoes. My old raw hide ones are definitely a pain to walk in because they're so wide.

    So far this year I haven't needed them. The snow is still less than a foot deep and it's still easier to break trail without the clumsy snowshoes.

  8. thanks Marguerite for a lovely walk, really beautiful, I see what you mean about snow on top of snow though, keep warm Frances

  9. Hi Marguerite! I didn't realize I was having an effect on you! A thing you know you'll be clipping coupons! lol!
    Funny - Michael and I went to a store yesterday called Novak's - they're a travel store with gear for all kinds of trips and weather and we were checking out the SNOWSHOES!! among other things like solar-powered backpacks & rain gear etc. Snow shoes have really changed - they still had the old-fashioned kind that look like giant tennis rackets but we'll definitely opt for the lighter, modern ones.

  10. the last time i saw snowshoes they were made of wood and sinew .. that was a few years ago when i lived on the prairies .. you have a wonderfull paradise where you are, marguerite .. it's so great to have a place to walk through the woods ..

  11. So beautiful! I love the tree shadows on unmarked snow. Congrats on your tax return, I know you citizens of the USA have a major job on your hands when it comes to filing your taxes, so I feel a little less smug about having done mine in the last couple of days too. On the other hand my reward was an hour's digging under heavy grey skies, not your magical tramp to the water's edge!

  12. Gardenwalk - I love downhill skiing but there aren't many ski hills available here unfortunately. Many people do cross country but I haven't yet tried that. some day maybe.

    Floridagirl - the key to enjoying winter is having the right gear! It can be cold and wet and miserable if you don't have proper hats, jackets and gloves.

    Laurrie - I was thinking about how different that walk looks in winter and then remembered I had photographed it last summer. Obviously I go that way quite often :)

    Kim- I can't wait either! I could use a swim at the beach in the near future.

    Karin - it amazes me to see all that ice and snow at the ocean. On the pacific coast you never see such a thing and I marvel when I see it here.

    Gardeningbren - we have promised ourselves that we won't lock ourselves up in winter. There was no point moving east if we weren't going to enjoy winter so am trying to embrace it as best I can.

    wiseacre - my husband would be so jealous you have the old style shoes. from what I've read many people still prefer them because they provide better flotation. although I suspect my narrow ones are a lot easier to walk in.

    Frances - and more snow again last night. we've finally gotten to a cold enough point in winter that there is no melting and the snow just keeps piling up and the ground gets further and further away.

    Jane - I always read your blog and feel slightly guilty for being so slack about my bank account. Count me as one of those who thinks if I don't look at it then I don't need to deal with it. But with tax time approaching a review of the last year was necessary.

    Protection Jane - we are so fortunate to have a place close by to walk in the woods. It's one of my favourite activities and was a 'must have' when we were looking for a home to buy.

    Plantaliscious - I must admit, I don't actually do the taxes as I'm hopeless with numbers. Hubby gets that job but I organize all the papers and receipts which is a task in itself.

  13. Thank you for sharing how it is like walking in winter. I must say it feels very cold. Perhaps I feel cold because it has been drizzling for the past 24 hours. The temp is 27degree C and I am cold. I would have frozen in that snow and you are thinking of skiing!!!

    I've just posted on warmer colors. Come over if you are interested.

  14. Delightful post. Our family loves to snow shoe and that looks so inviting.

  15. Thank you for walking us around! I'm always thinking of you when I hear the weather report! I'm glad you make the most of it and strap on the snowshoes! It really is beautiful out there! I love the way the snow drifts!

  16. What a beautiful walk. I love the unplowed road with the church tucked in the trees...a true winter wonderland. Good for you for getting outside! :)

  17. One - it's amazing how our bodies adjust to temperature. I spent a year in Australia a long time ago and I remember feeling cold there too although I don't think the temperature ever got under 20 degrees celcius.

    Carolyn thank you. It's a wonderful activity for everybody isn't it? My husband and I enjoy the time together walking, some of our best conversations take place then.

    Laura - the snow drifts are lovely to look at but very difficult to walk through! thank goodness for snow shoes.

    Ms.S - the church is such a lovely sight. There are so many churches on this island, most extremely old and quite beautiful. It was one of the things I first noticed when we came here.