Forest Landowner Perspective: Early Morning Hike

Snowy barns in forest and valley

Guest Post By Phyllis Ridge, forest landowner and 2012 WaTW Retreat graduate

January 17, 2013, 6:58 am - Barely light but Mary fetched me a headlamp so I could see to start my journey. Road to the upper house icy but hike-able. Turned my computers up so I could hear the Roaring Branch and the early morning crows. Now if I didn't have to look up and see the wind monstrosities on the mountain, the morning would be perfect. Wish I had my Nova Scotia hockey stick but alas I shouldn't have had it on the back of my Kubota lawn tractor when I mowed around the apple tree.

Maybe I should get in the Subaru and head north again this spring. Digby Nova Scotia thrift store here I come. The early morning solitude and dim light compels one to notice what is close at hand.

Ridge barn in the snowy forest

The deer trail tells me that they have come from Foreman Hollow and are heading for the mountain.  The springs spring from snow covered slopes and meander down the south slope of the Sugar Woods. Some other animal that walks putting all it's feet in a single row has ventured out this day.  Will have to check my nature books to see what it was.

The trees are what fascinate me. Sometimes I would like to go around and hug each one and say "Wake up!" but it's the time of year when these precious giants are resting and allowing winter's cold and frozen H20  to provide them the nourishment they will need to survive. Now that I am older I realize the value of my forest friends. They clean my air, warm my home, and provide so many other gifts that I take for granted. I love to hike here in March and wait and watch when the sun climbs up over the mountain and gives them all a good morning kiss.

Bird feeder on a tree

The sun seems to send a sunbeam smile over the whole Ridge farm.  Listen and you will hear the soft spring breeze nudging the forest flora and fauna to tune up their instruments that one cannot find in a high school auditorium or Carnegie Hall and will not be equaled by any mortal hand. Enough for my musings! My weekend at a Women and Their Woods retreat has inspired me.