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Wednesday Walk in the Snow: Beavers and Jays

Winter Wednesday-Week 2 Snow

We haven’t had much snowfall in our area since last week so our plans to complete the snow melting measurement activity are on hold for the moment. We did observe something that the book talks about on page 28 and 29, Snow Melt and Trees.

“During the day, the tree absorbs heat from the sun. The tree radiates heat and melts the snow.”

You can see in these photos how this looks out in the woods.

Here is another photo that shows the melted snow very clearly. Right after we took this photo we saw a coyote over beyond the trees. He was hurrying past on his way to somewhere else….we did not see him again all day.

On my the right sidebar of my blog I have a photo of my summer hiking boots….now here are my winter hiking boots. These are so very comfortable and warm. Don’t they look like brand new? They are two years old! I just love LL Bean. ( I just looked up on the LL Bean website and I can’t find these particular boots there anymore….just in case you were going to ask.)

The snow was just right for snow boots. I was really glad we did not need the snowshoes today because they are a lot of work and I wanted to just relax. Next time I am going to bring them along because there is an area that I wanted to explore but the snow was just too deep. I stepped of the trail and sunk down to about mid-calf.

We stayed on the trail….isn’t this a welcoming little entrance to this part of the wilderness? (Don’t tell Brittney…this is where we saw the bear last fall.)

Several people emailed me about the beaver dam in the header of the blog. Yes, it is a real beaver dam that is along one of our regular hiking trails. I promised a few more photos to go along with the beaver story. The photo above is a good example of what a tree looks like that a beaver has worked on. This particular tree is pretty far from the creek so I’m not sure why they chose it but it is still sitting in the woods. You can tell how big a beaver is by how far up the tree he was working.

You can see if you look closely or click the photo to enlarge it that the rangers have come through and protected some of the tree trunks with wire to prevent the beavers from falling the trees. There are quite a few trees that look as if the beaver got started and then the rangers wrapped up the trunks to keep the tree intact.

The turn around spot on this hike was this beach. This is the beach we spend hours and hours at during the summer and fall. This is a favorite with locals so there are lots of tracks and paw prints in the snow. There were a few mallard ducks hanging around today as well as a very chattery squirrel. More on the squirrels in another post soon.

One more friend from our walk this time.

Mr. Steller’s jay is a glorious blue and even more striking against the winter’s gray. They have to be some of the most loud and squawky birds you can ever imagine but they are so pretty when they hold still for a photo. Click the link above and scroll down to where you can listen to the call of the Steller’s jay….squawk indeed.

That was our Winter Wednesday this week. We are going to make sure to remember to actually do the activities we planned from chapter two when it snows here next….maybe soon.

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7 thoughts on “Wednesday Walk in the Snow: Beavers and Jays

  1. Wow! If we had scenery like that, I would want to go out too! We have no snow to enjoy, just temperatures that keep on dropping! Boo! Hoo! It might even be too cold to go out! Enjoy the winter landscape! ~Angie

  2. Alright…from those photos you almost have me convinced to explore that place. It is beautiful! BUT…We need to go together and we need to briog a great big bear horn!

    What a great hike!

  3. Oh, we have Stellar’s Jays all over too. We put peanuts out for the birds at lunch (it’s great dining entertainment). We always hope for the solitary and charming Clark’s nutcracker, but when he is not there, the trees fill up, like Hitchcock movie fill up, with the Stellar’s Jays. Ours look a little different in CO. They have these peculiar white patches above their eyes.

    Can’t wait to get out and do our Winter Wednesday!

  4. Regarding why a beaver would cut down a tree nowhere near where a dam would be built: A year or two ago, my family went for a hike on an island in Maine. We noticed a whole area where trees had been cut down by beaver, but there did not seem to be any reason – it was not an area where they would build a dam. My father contacted someone he knew who said the beaver do that because they like to eat the sweet bark. I also read that if they can’t reach the smaller, tastier branches of the tree, they will cut the tree down.

    My story of Stellar’s Jays… I am from the northeast and we have Blue Jays. They are pretty common and sort of noisy. It would not really occur to me to take a picture of one. My husband and I took a trip to Colorado and we pulled off the side of the road to view scenery. Here we saw the most beautiful blue bird. We spent quite a lot of time stalking and getting pictures of this bird. Later we had a good laugh when we identified it as a Stellar’s Jay and found that it was the “Blue Jay” of the west. We probably looked like fools to the locals.


  5. Wow Barb! What a beautiful place to go.I can relate about the deep snow,when we went out the other day I wished that I had snowshoes!Looks like a fun time!We hope to do our winter wednesday on snow soon but the high for tomorrow is
    five degrees!! We won’t get out until it gets closer to 20 otherwise we want to come back in almost immediately! :o)

  6. I love how the trees radiate heat and melts the snow in circles! It’s just the neatest thing. That jay picture is terrific, I don’t get that kind around my parts of the forest…he’s a cutie!

  7. What lovely scenery for your walk 🙂 Love the photo of the beach along the way, how lovely. Winter is my favorite season so I’m just sucking up all of the winter white on your pics and here at home 🙂

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