Channel Your Inner Elk-Ness

Seamus & I went for one of our exercise walks today… nothing special, just a wee hike we’ve done countless times before. Because we hike there often, my mind tends to wander and novelty… the idea of seeing and experiencing something new… doesn’t snap it back to reality.

We’ve had an unfortunate cold snap, of late, with temps plummeting down into the minus 20’s (that is, around -25C or -13F), just when spring is supposed to be upon us. With the amount of daylight increasing rapidly, it is nice and bright at 7:30am now (where it used to seem as though it was the middle of the night, when the clock face read the same in the depths of December). So those extra minutes of daylight we’re gaining each day, at a rate of about 3 minutes a day where we live, is such a tease when it is so cold!

UGH. I am so ready for spring, I’ll tell ya!

These rather bleak thoughts were going through my head as I was hiking up the Highline. But there’s only so long that this kind of negativity can pull you in… when the exercise endorphins start to kick in, when the rhythm of your footsteps work their trance-like magic, and when you begin to be aware, visually, of your surroundings, like the dawning of a new day, creeping up on you.IMG_2320.jpg

The snowfall, of late, has been coming in horizontally, driving its way through the forest canopy and catching itself on the tree trunks. The resulting patterns it has created on the roughness of the tree bark, the hairs of the lichen and moss and the exhalation of the trees (I imagine them actually breathing) are beautiful. These features have created sticky patches that have snagged themselves lines of snow… but only on one side of each tree trunk, throughout the forest.

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The lines work themselves in horizontal patterns across the width of every trunk, on one side, full of graceful curves, gentle dips and elegant arches.
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And when you look far, far up the tree, you can get taken in by the hypnotizing patterning of its stripes.
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Up close, the repetition of sage green moss on fresh, white snow on brown bark is a subtle, but beautiful contrasting pattern.

And then there are the faces, staring out at you, from the trunks alongside the trail…

It’s hard to keep miserable when faced with smiley tree sprites all around you. Or maybe it’s just the cold temps, and the prolonged winter, messing with my head and driving me a little bit insane!

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When I emerged from the forested trail, the resident herd of elk were hanging out. Some standing, others curled up in the snow, just chilling. About 50 of them. A reminder that we survive these cold snaps, if we just take them in stride…. if we just channel our inner elkness.

11 Comments on “Channel Your Inner Elk-Ness

  1. Wow was this long go?I’m asking because it the snow still handing on, or has it gone now ? Snow and elks are as foreign to me as are really hot summer days ( like 45 degrees Celsius and kangaroos probably are to you,. Can getting too close to elks be dangerous or are they shy? Do they arrange their herd formations so that the stronger bigger elks are on the extremities keeping guard of the herd? Louise

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    • This was today. I broke the cardinal rule of posting twice in one day. One follower mentioned I was having far too much fun and asked if I was getting sick of winter yet…and I’d just been out on my walk thinking…. ugh. I’m a little fed up with this recent cold snap. We’ll try skiing tomorrow, but I’m not sure how long we’ll last. It’s due to get up to -18C. Enjoy your summer!!!

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    • The elk, because they’re protected here (we’re on the border of a national park) are not shy at all. They’re only aggressive in the fall during their rut (mating season). That being said, I still walked way around them as I had my dog with me.

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  2. Don’t you just love slipping into a hiker trance? But it looks like you’ve both mastered the art of finding your happy place without losing sight of the beauty around you.

    I loved the snow garland, but was even more tickled by your cloud-gazing turned towards the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Faces in the trees, trees waving at you – I think the dryads are trying to tell you something. Like, “don’t be so hung up on mountains, trees are cool too!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s 89 °F in the Palm Springs Area today. A bit too hot for vigorous activities. If only I could give you 20 degrees. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: A Snowshoeing Birthday Adventure – Trail to Peak: The Adventurous Path

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