The Quiet Sleep

The quiet sleep is upon us once again.  After a brutal stretch of inclement weather, temperatures have dropped far enough so that nearly all the lakes are frozen, and we have quite a bit of snow on the ground.

I enjoy the quiet of the forest, and it’s never any quieter than it is in the winter.  The only sound will be the wind, if there is any.  Wind and winter do not go well together though.  Even the nicest winter days can be ruined by a little bit of wind.  However, I really enjoy those winter days when it’s calm and sunny.

Today wasn’t sunny, but it was relatively calm, so I headed out for my first winter walk of the season.  There’s a fair bit of snow on the ground, so walking in areas that have not seen any traffic would be a bit on the tiring side, but most of the areas I walked in today had tracks of one kind or another that I could follow.

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I parked the truck at the beginning of Milliken Mine Road. From here, there are a multitude of trails and mine roads that I can take.

It was definitely a very gloomy day for taking pictures, with all the white, and no sun for light, dark, low contrast shots were the order of the day.

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As I passed by Sherriff Creek, walking along Milliken Mine Road, I took a shot of this bench, where I often sit in the warmer weather.

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The trail conditions in the bush were snowy, to say the least.

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This family of bull rushes was wearing snow hats.

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Probably, black and white photography would be better suited for these conditions. It mostly looks like black and white anyways.

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Still walking along Milliken Mine Road. I didn’t know which way I wanted to go, so I just kept walking straight.

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Yep, I know, it’s not the nicest day but, take it from me, over the last month or so, this is one of the nicer days.

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A small river snakes through the bush.

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I got to the end of Milliken Mine Road, and was left with two choices……go up to the Lookout Tower, or continue through this gate into the Lacnor mine site.

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Since there was a car parked over by the gate for the road to the Lookout Tower, I chose the more secluded Lacnor mine site.

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You can see that there are vehicle tracks in here which, from my experience, is unusual. The mine workers don’t usually come into this mine site in the winter. Also, I’ve notice that police cruisers are also coming down Milliken Mine Road, which is also very unusual. Makes me wonder if there was some kind of incident down here.

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I walked into the Lacnor mine site for a few kilometers. It was nice and quiet, no sign of anyone else. I wasn’t cold at all, only my hands would get cold, when I was taking pictures. However, I had started this walk later in the afternoon and, with the days being as short as they are now, plus the fact that it was a very overcast day, light was starting to fade.

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The snow was about 8 inches deep but tracks to walk on make things a lot easier. I’ll never, willingly, put another set of snowshoes on those feet again. I have no incentive to make life more difficult than it needs to be.

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The high point in the distance there, is the area I call Pole Ridge, but I won’t be going up there today. It’s difficult enough in the summer.

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On the way back, looking out over Sherriff Creek pond.

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I came across this Pileated Woodpecker on the way back, but the darkness would not allow for a detailed shot.

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The light recedes over a mostly frozen Elliot Lake, as another long cold night approaches.

I wouldn’t say that it was one of my finest walks, but I did really enjoy it, especially after being cooped up for so long due to weather conditions. We now have another weather system approaching that is supposed to bring milder temperatures, but freezing rain, and sloppy snow, before getting colder later in the week. Looks like more inside time is on the way.

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