Sunshine and Snow

Yep, we have both sunshine and snow now. Just after a brief weather system laid a few inches of new snow on the ground, the skies cleared, and colder temperatures took over. We had almost lost all of the snow that had fallen since the winter weather started, in the beginning of November, but this latest minor deposit has kept the ball rolling…..the snowball that is. 🙂

Needless to say, since the sun was out, so was I. The only reason I might stay inside when the sun is out, in the winter, is wind. Windy conditions in the winter are somewhat like humid conditions in the summer, not very enjoyable.

One thing that always makes winters a bit less enjoyable for me is the fact that my hands get cold very easily, probably because I am always taking pictures, and I need to remove my gloves to do so. However, I may have found the answer to that problem now.

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I purchased this pair of leather Thinsulated gloves, on ebay of course, where I get most of the stuff I need. Here in Elliot Lake we don’t have the stores, or selection, that many other places have, and so ebay is a very important resource.
Still, I would have to take these gloves off, just like any other gloves, if I wanted to take pictures, so I also found a solution for that.

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These are merino wool glove liners, again a product of ebay, and they slide very easily into, and out of, my leather Thinsulated gloves. This means that I can take my hands out of my thicker gloves, and use the thinner merino wool liners to operate my camera.

After testing them out today, in minus 6 degrees Celsius, I was quite pleased with how they worked out. My hands did not get cold at all, in fact, I had to take off the leather gloves on the way back, because my hands were a bit warm. Both sets of gloves were very inexpensive, so that’s always a bonus in my book. I did coat the outside of the leather gloves with this special mixture I make up consisting of beeswax and mineral oil. This will help to maintain the leather and also make it waterproof.

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I started my 15km walk heading north, out of town, on Hwy 108. That’s Beaver Mountain in the distance and, of course, that’s my shadow in the foreground. There’s no getting away from it, if I’m shooting away from the sun, my shadow is going to be in the picture.

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That’s a frozen Elliot Lake out there, although I haven’t seen any activities on the lake yet, which is probably smart, because we haven’t had consistent cold temperatures. I did see people ice fishing on Horne Lake though, which is a bit questionable in my opinion. However, I haven’t seen any snow machines on the ice yet.

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Here you can see a set of tracks going past a small evergreen tree. These are probably fox tracks, and that is one benefit of having snow on the ground. I really like seeing all the wild animal tracks, and trying to figure out which animal made them, and approximately when. I didn’t see as many foxes this year, as I did last, and that was probably because of the very cold conditions last winter. I expect that a lot of foxes didn’t make it through that.

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The snow had a way of making the ice seem so much more solid than it might be. There is a river flowing under this ice, and that means that the ice is probably not too thick, because moving water does not freeze well.

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Sunshine can make the winter so much more enjoyable, and it doesn’t hurt for taking pictures either!

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I don’t want to jinx things, but we still haven’t had a real big dump of snow yet up here and, walking, whether on the trails/roads, or in the bush, is still fairly easy.

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The forecast is saying that we’re going to get four straight days of sunshine, but I know how fast they can change that to cloudy, or worse, so I don’t count on anything until it arrives.

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Along with sunshine, low wind speeds are also on the menu, so it’s quite possible I may be able to get a more substantial hike in, if this comes to pass. Not that 15kms is not substantial, but most of today’s walk/hike was on roads that vehicles can access. I like to get into remote areas, where no one else goes.

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I would be fine with getting just this amount of snow every year, if that was possible. 🙂

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Walking in 3 inches of snow is no big deal, but anything more than that is a real big deal. I don’t fancy snow shoes, I can’t ski, and I can’t afford a snow machine, not that I’d want one anyway.

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I just go with the flow though, if the snow does get deeper, and it probably will, I’ll just follow any packed down trails, such as snowmobile trails.

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I never forget how lucky, and how very grateful, I am to be able to walk into places like this, even if I had no vehicle at all.

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Like I’ve said before, this is what I was born to do, and how can you be any more content in life than when you are doing what you were born to do?

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If I have my way, I will end my days in this beautiful, rugged country, exploring as much of it as possible, before I, once again, become part of it.

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Time to head home for now, but tomorrow is another day, and it should be a sunny one according to the weather pundits.

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The snowmobile trail still has ATV tracks on it, not enough snow for the snowgo’s yet. All pictures today were taken with my trusty, smaller, Canon SX120.

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