Goodbye Winter...

I never seem to post much during the winter so this is a collection of pictures from my hikes this past winter.   It was an especially cold few months, and while I do like being outside during all the seasons, I am happy that winter is finally over.

Trail with Pines 
This grove of Hemlock trees is one of my favorite sections of Spruce Run trail up in the park.

Ice Crystals 
I found these interesting ice crystals down by the stream one overcast day.

Snow Covered Valley
Looking back down the snow covered forest from high on the valley.

Thawing Creek 
The creek was frozen over for much of the Winter but a few warm days and even it starts to thaw as warmer water sinks the ice.

Snow Covered Trail 
I was the first to hike this snow covered trail down by the creek since the last snowfall.  There was a good five or six inches that day.

Bushes Covered with Snow
I like it when snow sticks to every branch and twig.  Not all snowfalls do that, but when the conditions are right, it makes for a very serene setting.

Frozen Leaves 
We found these leaves under an inch or two of clear ice locked away until the spring thaw.

On a sunny, but cold day back in January, we headed out to our fire ring and had hot dogs for lunch.  There's nothing like hot dogs cooked over an open fire. 

Frozen Backwater 
The backwater that I frequently write about was frozen over for a long period this winter and I was even able to walk across it.

Newly fallen snow on Hemlock branches.