It was quiet when we arrived. Not a breath of wind on a -6 C sunny winter day meant perfect conditions for snowshoeing. We were alone in the area on Islander Day, a winter holiday. We had scouted this old Heritage Road the previous day, wanting a place to snowshoe without the noise and traffic of snow machines. Luckily, snowmobilers don’t ride on the Millman Road.
My husband and I put on our snowshoes quickly and headed out.
Most noticeable was the absence of bird sounds and sightings. Our usual trails on the island have many species and numbers of birds, some year round. The Millman Road, which we frequent during the other seasons has always had the same. Not today. The woods were silent, accentuating the stark beauty around us.
The only sound was the crunch of snow with every step. The loose snow sparkled which I was unable to capture with the camera. Periodically we stopped to listen for the silence again, such an unusual experience. The sound of one’s breathing filled the air, a strange sensation indeed in this space.
We weren’t alone however. Impressions in the snow left by other creatures gave us pause.
What could have made such a track? We speculated with each mysterious set. Hares, mice, skunks, foxes? Where are they now? The thought made the surrounding woodland feel alive in spite of the quiet.
Forty-five minutes later we stopped, having enjoyed every minute. We didn’t over extend ourselves since we wanted to be able to move the next day. The poles added extra effort, more than our usual walking. We will go further the next time we venture out on snowshoes.
A thermos of tea waited back at the car. The tea couldn’t have been better as we sat in our camp chairs in the silence. We absorbed it all, the tea which warmed us to the core and the stark beauty of this winter day.
View across a nearby field