A Winter Visit

DSC_1100 cottage in snow

Last year we waited almost all winter before finally visiting the cottage in the snow. It was the end of March before the weather was crisp and bright on a weekend. We had many grey days on the weekends, or we were busy with other things and couldn’t make it. However, we did finally get there with our snowshoes and hiked in. We couldn’t drive in because the access across the field isn’t ploughed and our driveway is probably too steep, even with our four-wheel drive car.

DSC_1094 deer trail

As I mentioned in my post about deer, we followed the deer footprints and got to see just where they like to go.

DSC_1101 oak

It was great to see the cottage in the snow! We were amazed at how it looked so different. Things like the old oak tree were much more visible with all the leaves gone from the trees. We could see clearly how the bay comes round beside the cottage. Normally the trees block that view too.

DSC_1114 amongst reeds

The lake was frozen over and we were able to walk out in areas that we don’t normally have easy access. We explored the area beside the cottage because it is normally so full of reeds and bulrushes that even with the kayak you can’t get in far.

DSC_1117open water.jpg

One curious thing that we noticed was that even though the lake was frozen over, there was one patch of open water right at the end of the bay. I don’t know if there is a spring there or what caused it, but there is obviously moving water there. We would have liked to explore it further, but didn’t dare get too close and fall through the ice. We haven’t figured out how we can find out more. The kayak doesn’t get in that far later in the season and the land around it is very boggy, so you can’t walk down and explore it easily.

DSC_1119side of cottage

It was interesting to get a view of the cottage from the bay at the side of the cottage. It gave us a different perspective of how the land lies. It doesn’t seem as obvious, looking at the door of the cottage, just how much of a hill the cottage is built on. First impressions are that the land is somewhat flat there, but as I can stand under the cottage at the far end, the land is far from flat!

DSC_1134steep slope      DSC_1139steep slope

One of the lovely things about visiting with snowshoes was the ability to explore steep areas more easily. The picks on the snowshoes dig in and we were able to climb amongst the trees far more easily than we can otherwise. It was fun to explore!

We only stayed for a couple of hours, because we felt it was too far to lug in water and food to stay any length of time. It was only -3 degrees in the cottage, so a fire would have soon warmed things up, but we didn’t bother doing that for such a short time. We enjoyed exploring outside and hiking around, especially on the slopes; that kept us warm.

We intend to go again this winter, but so far it has been a repeat of last winter in that we just haven’t had ideal weather on a weekend we are free. We still have one month before we reach the date we went last winter, so maybe we will still go before winter is over. We certainly won’t be walking on the lake this winter, with it being such a mild winter. It would be interesting to see how many deer tracks are on our driveway this year. We closed our gate, so the deer might use a different route. It is low enough that they can jump it if they wish, but I would expect them to prefer a different route if they are going that way often.

Now I stop to think about it- closing the gate has just made our winter visit much more difficult. Our thoughts were to discourage the deer from hanging out near the cottage because of the ticks, but whilst they can easily jump the gate, we are not going to find it so easy! Hmm, I will have to let you know if and when we visit. You might be in for some interesting photographs!


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