Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A walk in our Winter Wonderland..

We've had a chance to dig out around here, somewhat. I've always liked the winter season. It is a great time to step outside and go for a walk. I decided to do just that this morning with my camera in hand. The trail that goes south from the main building at the Nature Center leads to a set of bridges that span one of the north channels of the Platte. It gives a unique perspective the river and I shot a few photos of the ice and snow from above.

Finding a way to photography rivers edge is difficult to do without benefit of the bridge as I found out a few years ago when I put on a pair of hip waders and ventured into the Platte hoping to get some photos of the ice and water. On a river, it is very dangerous to walk on the ice as the flowing water makes for uneven ice, as I found out breaking through and filling my waders with icy Platte water. After regaining my breath, and pulling my soaked cell phone and wallet out of my pocket, I managed to snap a few photos before heading home to dry out.

Today the trail was easy walking with snow no more than knee deep. There are lots of deer and rabbit tracks and several birds can be found in the brush that grows along the banks of the river. I found where a rabbit had made a home on a brush pile left over from a brush clearing project that we had done this last fall. The winter scene scape makes you look at objects differently than you might other times of the year as it has a tendency to isolate the subject in a way that can be quite beautiful.

The key to a successful winter outing is to be properly dressed with proper winter boots, and dress in layers. Be sure to bring your camera or binoculars and allow plenty of time to just observe your surroundings. Be sure to let someone know where you are and about when you might return. Lastly, have fun!

The trails at the Center are open daily and are limited to the bridge trail until later this spring.

Monday, December 28, 2009

We've rented a Bobcat to remove the snow. We seem to get a big drift at our front door every time it snows! Dan digs like a mad man and managed to tunnel out till I met him with the snow blower. Fun with man-toys...

We have a big sign at the west end of the parking lot that seems to act as a big snow fence and a big drift forms right in front of the mailbox. It looks like we'll need to engineer a snow fence to the north in an attempt to cut this drift down to size, The main goal is to get room for the mail carrier to get to the box. With each pass of the snow thrower, it gives me a chance to visualize that snow fence and how it might work. Time will tell.

We are open this week, so if your into winter trail hiking, it's a great time to get out! I'll try to get out with the camera and post some photos later this week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow bound

Ok, here's the situation. It's snowing big time. This is snow like we had when we were kids! I love it! I know there are those who dislike the cold and snow, but it really is a beautiful scene as the snow settles in on the prairie. Travel difficulties aside, the moisture and beauty are welcome indeed. If you can make it out to the center to hike the trails, it will be worth the effort.