welcome to february! it looks like it might be a sunny day here, but it's cooooold out this morning.
back up to sunday, when a friend and i headed up to the hills to do a bit of snowshoeing for the afternoon. there is lots of snow up there (upwards of 4m/13ft), although it hasn't snowed much for a week or two. with a bit of rain on and off, and some freezing in between, the top layer of snow is rock solid, and it was debatable whether we even needed the snowshoes. i'm glad, though, that we decided to snowshoe instead of snowboard on the adjacent ski hill - all that crusty ice would have been unpleasant, despite the sunshine.
when we first started out, the whiskey jacks (grey jays) were out in full force. a cross-country skiing mother and son were feeding them little nuts and seeds, so a crowd of little birds had gathered. the whiskey jacks are not shy in the least, and happily landed on the young boy's outstretched hand and head to get their treats.
although the sun was bright and warming, a layer of low cloud obscured the surrounding snow-capped mountain peaks. the lower hills were green with trees that have lost their snowy blankets as the changing weather has moved through recently. while we spent some time in amongst the larger trees, most of the time we were out in the meadows, amongst what seems like little trees. it's easy to forget that these are just the tops of those trees, with the rest buried under all the snow! the tree branches were covered in tiny little icicles that glistened as the sun shone through them.
i never tire of the whiskey jacks. sometimes i feel a bit sad that they are so tame, almost not wild animals at all; the way they swoop in to have a peek at anyone passing by and see if you have food to share. but they have such cheeky personalities, as many jays do, that i always come out smiling from an encounter with them. even when you don't have anything to offer, they just say hello and then dart off on another adventure.
all in all it was a beautiful afternoon, filled with fresh air and exercise (which seems all too forgotten these days for me). we returned back to the car as the sun was dipping below the distant hills, and the once full parking lot was now nearly empty. my cheeks were rosy all the way home. hope you did some exploring this past weekend too!