We have reached that age where it doesn’t matter how late we tuck ourselves in for the night, we are always awake by 6am. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep does not make for a productive day, so the only thing one can do is get outdoors and hope the fresh air and exercise will help banish that sluggish feeling. A New Year’s Day walk around Fernalds Neck would not be too strenuous but would get us outside.
After driving down the narrow, dirt road towards the preserve, we found that the road had been cleared as far as the last house before the park. Much to our dismay, the road was closed from that point on and, looking down the avenue towards the parking area we could see that the gate was closed. I was disappointed since I really wanted to see what gifts the preserve had to offer during the off-season but, on this day at least, that was not to be. And now, we had to come up with a plan B.
Since it was close by, we finally decided on just walking the Multi-use trail in the Camden Hills State park up to the Bald Rock trailhead. When we arrived at the ice-covered parking area, we discovered a number of people had the same idea. We grabbed the last parking spot, donned our spikes and set out on our walk.
It had precipitated the night before, with the usual wet snow turning to rain stuff that was becoming the typical storm pattern for this year. While I waited for my husband to retrieve his scarf from the car, I noticed that this warm/cold air pattern had left an interesting sponge like pattern to the snow cover. You could just tell that this white stuff was more ice than snow, not very good for either snowshoeing or skiing and yet we encountered people doing both as we meandered up the hill. We could hear the skies chattering on the ice as skiers passed us wishing us a Happy New Year! Everyone was glad to be outside!
I enjoyed the play of light along the snow covered trail and through the trees around us. I thought that a leaf had a vague resemblance to a lizard. My husband teased me about this, but I could definitely see a creature sitting in the snow, the ragged edges of the leaf like feet on the snow and the point of the leaf looked like the head, nose pointing out to sense what was going on around it.
I kept glancing at the sun, peaking through the spaces between the trees. As this bright orb traveled lower in the sky it made an interesting pattern as the surrounding trees dispersed the rays, creating blades that stretched out from the center disc.
We finally reached the Bald Rock trailhead where we rested a bit before turning around. We were outside on a clear, crisp day, enjoying the inspirations of nature and a cheerful greeting to everyone we met. There was no better way to begin the New Year!