I hate cold weather. I don’t mind end of October when it is like in the 50s & 60s. I mind when it dips down to low 40s and below. I grew up in Michigan so I always get asked, “Don’t you like the cold?” Nope. I am writing this with a coat and large, bulky sweater covering my lap because my office is so incredibly cold.
I have a tradition of going hiking on Veteran’s Day. It is a day I have off of work but my kids still have school. I enjoy having the day to myself. This year, I almost didn’t go. I woke up and it was cold. Too cold. I got up and decided I would at least drive to Shenandoah to see if the colors had improved. I also wanted to stop at Buck Hallow Trail to photograph the stream that runs through that trail since it had rained a lot earlier in the week.
While I was photographing the stream it wasn’t too bad. I had on my hat, coat and gloves and was fine. If I had been hiking I would have been nice and warm. I figured, “Why not go and find a hike?” I drove along Skyline Drive wondering which trail to visit. I kept referring to my map and wasn’t deciding on anything. I started on one trail and the wind just about blew me off the mountain. I turned right around and went back to my car. Eventually I happened upon Little Stony Man. I got out and looked at the sign. It was a short hike to the view point so I decided that would be my hike. As I walked up the side of the mountain I warmed up nicely. The wind was minimal in that location. It only took me a few minutes to reach the Little Stony Man lookout area. And that’s when the wind hit me. It was far stronger than the other trail because you’re basically standing on the side of a mountain with no coverage. This is also the first time I’ve been on a rock formation in Shenandoah and didn’t want to look over. I presume this is why people go to climb. e
I took a few photos and headed back to my car. I blasted the heater and drove home. As I was driving I decided to stop at Ellanor C Lawrence Park. Someday I will explore more of this park as I generally hang around the creek and pond. The wind was still blowing but because of coverage it wasn’t too bad. I wandered around looking for something to photograph. I found a cool trail that I will probably explore at a different time. I was just too cold so I headed back towards my car.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a Blue Heron. They are probably my favorite bird. I have quite a few good photos of them. I went in all directions to photograph this bird. I got pretty close and have some beautiful shots of just its head.
Eventually I decided I would leave the bird alone and made my way back to my car. Because I hadn’t done a big hike I had time left in my day to relax. I do enjoy hiking in the winter. I like that posion ivy dies and I have more confidence to go off trail. I like finding birds without the leaves on the trees. But I really want spring to return because I am already tired of being cold.