Into the Woods in Winter

Yesterday I enjoyed one of those times in nature that leave me awestruck, enthralled, fully engaged, and grateful.

Everything was perfect: the weather, the snow, and the company (my dogs). We started early in the morning, running up, up, up the mountain on freshly-groomed trail, the rising sun breaking over and through the tops of the tall trees, peaceful silence but for our footsteps and breathing, the air crisp, the sky blue and the vistas expansive until a layer of fog drifted over, gently shrinking the world around us.


Until two snowmobiles approached, engines destroying the silence, leaving the stench of their exhaust hanging in the air as they passed by. Thankfully they were quickly out or earshot and we didn’t see any others.

The dogs and I reluctantly headed back – I always wish we could stay out there forever on days like this – running down the mountain playfully, happy and smiling wide.

Lacking suitable words to convey how it feels to be in the forest on such a beautiful winter day, moving freely, so invigorated, I thought some favorite quotes and my photos might give a sense of the wonder. The photos are in sequence, from the start of our run, climbing ever higher up the mountain to our turnaround point on a ridge where the fog joined us and I tucked my camera away.

The mountains are calling and I must go.

John Muir
dogs on snow

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep darlings, until the summer comes again.’

Lewis Carroll
snow-covered trees

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!

Dr. Seuss
tall trees in snow

Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers.

Kahlil Gibran
mountains through trees

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.

John Miur
dogs, snow, sunlight

The wilderness is not frightening to the wild.

Martha Beck
snow, trees, sunlight

It’s opener there in the wide, open air.

Dr. Seuss
snowy road in trees

I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Kurt Vonnegut
dogs on snowy road

Each day provides its own gifts.

Marcus Aurelius
dog on snow, sun

I like this place and willingly waste my time in it.

William Shakespeare

In the fields, she stopped and took a deep breath of the flower-scented air. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. And for a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to absorb its wild enchantment.

Boris Pasternak

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey
dog, snowy road

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.

Walt Whitman
sun through fog, trees

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

John Muir
dogs in snow

Because in the end you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

Jack Kerouac

21 thoughts on “Into the Woods in Winter”

    1. Yes, I feel a little guilty when I post something like this because I know how lucky I am to be able to enjoy this landscape in my “back yard.” But hey, I’m not bragging on myself, I’m bragging on Mother Nature 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. These are roads inside the Payette National Forest, groomed by the two adjoining counties primarily for snowmobiles, but some of us not into throttle twisting also use them. The key is getting on them right after grooming and before the snowmobiles chew the surface up. They groom at night, each section getting re-groomed roughly once a week.


  1. I want to pet the puppies!

    But, in contrast to your own post, I got to mow my lawn yesterday and had to shed layers and drink lots of liquids to do so. The ground is still moist from all the rains (and snows) but the sun shined and we’re hitting the 70s. Oh, fickle California!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to pet ALL the puppies!!

      See? There’s another benefit to real winters up here. I don’t have to mow the lawn for six months of the year!

      More seriously, though, I’ve noticed over the past several years that our winters – while still with ample snow – have shifted, starting later, and lasting longer into spring. It’s confusing the migratory birds. Fickle is a good word for it.


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