Ten days before the girls came to visit, I cross-country skied through our woods and into the Rifle River Recreation Area.
Last Thursday, the girls and I hiked through wakening woods where snow was visibly melting, yet still-frozen lakes were not to be trusted.
|Frozen Lodge Lake.|
At the base of this tree were so many large wood shavings, I wondered if Andy had been whittling here. Not so.
These holes are the handiwork of the Pileated Woodpecker!
This woodpecker is almost as large as a crow.
|Pileated Woodpecker at work.|
Woodpeckers aren't the only industrious creatures in our forests...witness the work of a beaver!
|A tree, cut down by a beaver.|
We are not sure what caused this tree to grow so crooked.
|An old crooked tree.|
THE OBSERVATION TOWER
About a mile and a half jaunt from our back door is a three-story observation tower overlooking Grebe Lake. The open wooden stairs are a training opportunity for FLD Gus, who was anxious to follow the girls up to the top.
|Looking down through the tower staircase. (photo by Sofia)|
|FLD Gus, calm at the top. (Gypsy, not so much.)|
Gypsy wasn't too sure about the stairs, but when her annoying barking didn't bring us down to throw her stick, she finally decided to join us.
|Gypsy, barking at us from below.|
Here we rested, and relished the sunshine and spectacular view.
LOOK! An eagle's nest in the tallest pine, just across the slush-frozen water.
Take a closer look...
|An eagle in its nest!|
|Natalie, caught throwing rocks onto the frozen lake from the top of the tower.|
|Sofia, looking for rocks. "Come on up!"|
|Big-sister Elaina, keeping all of us in line.|
THE TRAIL HOME
On the sunny-side, the trail was free of snow and ice.
|"Queen" Natalie, hoofing it in the sun.|
But where hills obstructed, evidence of my birth-day-ski lingered.
|My ski tracks are melting!!!|
FLD Gus wasn't the only one dog-tired when we got home!
|FLD Gus, one tired puppy.|