By Karyn Stack
Some might think that not much goes on in the woods during the cold and quiet winter months, here in Vermont, but to the contrary. I just got back from a walk with my trusted dog Gillie, after having seen some new, neatly piled mushroom logs that my husband Bill and the other Shiitake Stooges cut in preparation for the Spring Inoculation Party. Ten minutes prior, I noticed small deer tracks on the Snowshoe trail I had cut weeks ago above the Sheep Pasture and use most days. Makes me smile to think that I have made winter walking a bit easier for the young four-leggeds.
Earlier in the week, I caught a glimpse of and heard, one of my old forest friends, the grand Pileated Woodpecker. Days before that, I was treated to a Barred Owl conversation, between two who were hooting from a distance.
More than a month ago, while cruising along in my Snowshoes, I spooked up what I believe was a Grouse. I also regularly see remnants from a squirrel/chipmunk meal, scattered across the snow.
I like the independence of snowshoeing. Really, I can roam anywhere in our woods to create a trail, making it a bit easier the next time I venture out.
Sometimes I walk with friends or run into others while I wander, but many days it’s just Gillie and me. She’s great company and spending more time in our woods, I have come to feel very comfortable and at home out there.