Sunday morning we awoke to a fresh carpet of snow, our first for this winter season. Overnight we had about 4 or 5 inches of snow and it was wet and heavy. The snow started yesterday afternoon and must have really come down during the night. The birds need some food in their feeder and the cats were afraid to grout into the wet stuff but it all worked out. I got us shoveled out, fed the birds and consoled the cats.Because of the snow and the different morning routine we decided not to go to a diner this morning but rather have breakfast at home so we can hit the trail early.
Our afternoon was to be filled with a party so we were limited by time to get our weekly walk done before cooking happens and guests arrive so off to Caratunk Wildlife Refuge in Seekonk, Mass., close by and always satisfies. . . We arrived to find the parking lot almost completely full. We saw a lot of families entering the large barn, so guessed Santa must be making a visit. However when we approached the trail there was only one set of foot prints in the snow. The sun was still low in the morning sky and bathed the upper branches of the trees in a golden glow which contrasted nicely the blues of the deep morning shadows. The snow made a satisfying crunch under our feet as we walked - Carol commented that the sound was almost exactly the same sound as when a dentist packed a filling. . .
Our plan was to do the Perimeter tTrail and were delighted to see that there were all new blazes on the trees and a complete set of new signs complete with a map. We have been here enough that the map is unnecessary, but a nice addition to the grounds. Even though we have suffered and strong storms this fall the trail is very well maintained and all of the fallen trees have been cleared from the trail. The deep snow gave us clues to who lives in the forest. We saw many deed tracks and lots of birds have been jumping around on the surface of the snow. We saw signs of squirrels and rabbits and either a large dog or maybe coyotes made it’s way along the trail for a short distance.
We crossed the brook several times and liked the way the snow and sunlight played in the the branches. The weather was warm enough to be comfortable and cold enough that the snow wasn’t melting, although several times it did fall down the back of my neck as I ducked under branches. We took a couple of side trails and looked for wildlife as I was convinced that we would spot some deer, but it never happened.
In several areas we saw fine black specks on the ground, on top of the snow, like someone had shaken black pepper over the top of the snow. We guessed it must be spore from something as it covered a pretty good sized ares and was just the thinnest veil of specks. We saw this in three different spots along the trail, I should have take a photo. Strange thing. All too soon we had closed the loop, about three miles with the side trips we made, and arrived back at the start. Caratunk is a great resource for our area and is an easy trail to hike, for all ages and abilities.