Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Taste of Spring!

With temperatures forecast to top the 50-degree mark on Saturday, Charlie and I made plans to go hiking with our friends, Sara and Ellie. 

We headed out to a segment of the Ice Age Trail that is fairly close to home and that we surprisingly haven't been to yet - the Ringle Segment.

Upon arrival, it became obvious that this trail had also shared use by snowmobiles over the winter. The path was wide, making it easy to hike side-by-side with our friends, but the snowmobile use had packed down the snow so much that it was pretty slippery in places. 

The dogs were extremely alert to all the new scents on this trail, including large bird prints in the snow. We even found prints of bird wings in the snow! A little further down the trail we startled a family of turkeys roosting in trees, owners of the tracks we had found.

Bird wing imprint in the snow - evidence of a turkey taking flight.

Charlie eating snow near the turkey tracks & bird wing print.
As we hiked up and down the hilly terrain, enjoying the sunshine and blue skies, I realized my winter jacket was too warm for the weather! It was unbelievable to be hiking at the end of February and being too warm for my coat... it truly felt like spring. The topography of this trail is like a rollercoaster, providing a great workout, although a little challenging in slushy snow.


Sunday brought different weather, although still mild temperatures in the mid-30s. The morning consisted of intermittent sunshine and gray skies followed by a bit of rain around noon. Within a short period of time, the rain turned to sleet and then snow. Big, wet snow clumps falling from grey skies.

Because I wasn't sure how the road conditions would be, we stayed close to home, opting for a nearby park. Charlie had a blast romping around off-leash and playing a game of fetch. Because of the melancholy weather, we had the park all to ourselves today.

Even though it was snowing, the temperatures were still mild and it was an enjoyable hike. Charlie was thoroughly tired out by the time we made it back to the car and was content to sleep on the front seat as we drove home. 

The weather brought a little bit of everything this weekend, but the days are getting longer and the snow is starting to recede. It's definitely feeling like spring... a time for renewal and endless possibilities.