The following link is to a great educational You Tube video posted by the National Forest Service showing the awesome beauty of the Dixie National Forest in Utah. It is special places such as these, that nourish our souls and absolutely deserve to be protected for generations to come.
If you are feeling a little energetic, or like you have a good case of Cabin Fever, why not take the family out to do a little trash or trail cleanup this spring! Nothing feels better than knowing you are helping to preserve those wild areas that take your breath away upon discovery!
Once Don has his mind set on something, nothing, even the polar vortex that has gripped the nation is going to prevent him from going on a nice day hike. I have never known anyone who enjoys nature and just being outside as much as him. Here he is waiting for me at the Trailhead, after I put fresh batteries in my camera!
Don could not have picked a better day for a hike! Blue skies as far as the eye can see!
How she loves to hunt for little mice underneath the snow!
Just one of several small field mouse dens we spotted along the trail!
I missed it, but Don who was walking ahead of me, spotted a whitetail moving through the dense undergrowth. No rack, so more than likely it was a doe. So exciting!
Nice clean set of rabbit tracks! We have lots of little cottontails in the area! Nothing more exciting than finding little signs of wildlife in the snow. By reading animal tracks, you can learn a lot about the daily activities of wildlife that inhabit the woods.
Following another set of rabbit tracks, we came upon its den, the entrance to which was cluttered with little twigs and leaves which I suspect it had collected to insulate its burrow with!
The following are the tracks of a beautiful Ring-necked Pheasant we startled on the way back to the trailhead. When it ran across the trail in front of us, the dogs went absolutely berserk!
It took me forever to take these shots of snow crystals atop of these prickly seed heads. Had to wait for the wind to settle down before I could even get them into focus!
While I enjoy tracking animals in the snow, I can't wait for spring to arrive! I guess Punxsutawney Phil poked his head outside his burrow this morning, and not seeing his shadow, predicted an early spring! Awesome!
Just came across a link to an excellent You Tube video produced by the National Forest Service regarding helpful tips in regards to trail etiquette. Don and I are always watchful and yield to any traffic we encounter when we are hiking on established trails. As we usually have our dogs with us, we normally stand way off the trail to allow other hikers or riders to comfortably pass without incident.
Don made me a nice leash splitter so that I could control 2 dogs with 1 leash. The splitter really came in handy last summer when we were backpacking in the Colorado backcountry, and came across a black bear grazing in a meadow. When our normally hyper dogs went berzerk after spotting the bear, I was so glad we were able to control them fairly easily without getting hopelessly tangled up in multiple dog leashes, which happened a lot before I got the splitter. Always so exciting camping with our dogs!