Any time spent outdoors is good time.
Most of the time a walk through the woods in winter is about seeing the small details.
|Leaves and stems melting through ice left by a recent storm|
|Fog droplets on a young American Beech tree|
Color can be hard to find. Sometimes it is subtle...
|Turkey Tail fungus on a stump|
Sometimes it is jarring when seen against all the drabs colors of the snow and sky.
|Moss on a fallen log|
Did you notice spider webs on the moss in the picture above? There were hundred of webs strewn everywhere throughout the swamp. A closer look revealed the architects...
The brightest color to be found throughout the swamp was the green of sedge tussocks. Some of the tussocks were surrounded by open water (and last year's leaves); other tussocks were surrounded by ice and snow.
|Sedge tussock and Red Oak leaves|
|Sedge tussocks surrounded by ice|
The recent spate of warm weather has caused much of the snow and ice to melt away. The trees both slow it down by blocking some of the rays of the sun, and speed it up by warming at the base because of the sun.
|Snow melts quickly at the base of trees|
Some meltwater is pooling in low areas, filling what will become seasonal ponds later in the year. Other water is flowing away to lower areas. As the water flows it cuts down through the ice.
|Water flowing over the ice|
|A channel curves around tussocks and through the ice|
Eventually, much of the water will flow either over the ground or through the soil to Mission Creek and from there to the Chippewa River.
|Someday this curve of the creek will cut completely through that bank and create an oxbow|
Some of the my favorite finds of the day were the smallest. Many of the trees in the swamp are covered with various types of lichens. Some are easy to see from the ground. Others are found higher in the trees. When a tree falls, it brings those lichens down to a level where they are easy to see.
My favorite image of the day though was taken as I left the park. Both sides of Crawford Road (also known as Harris St.) are lined with woods that arch over the roadway. Even on sunny days this section of road is dark. Yesterday, the warm temperatures and melting snows caused dense fog throughout the area. It creates a really cool moody feeling to any woodland scene.
|Crawford Road (Harris Street) near Mission Creek Park|