The thermometer was right at freezing when we left the house for our fifteenth weekly walk, three weeks after the winter solstice.
We had torrential rains over the weekend, which washed away the icy coating on the trail, so this hike was much less treacherous than last week’s. The rains also swelled the river and the creek significantly. The creek ran much faster and was noticeably wider than usual.
At the river, we saw evidence that the water level had been even higher before receding and leaving rings of ice clinging to the trees.
Also at the river, we saw our pals the muskrats again, and I got a photo of one!
See it? See it?
My daughter and I saw two different muskrats swimming beneath the ice, one larger than the other, and my son says he saw a third out away from where we were looking. So, definitely more than one and possibly as many as three muskrats make their home in that bank.
On the way back, we stopped by the river again, hoping to sneak up on the muskrats and catch another glimpse, but it appears they were too clever for that ruse. We’ll try again next week.
I’ll finish out this week’s hike with a collection of photos showing the many varieties of ice we encountered on this week’s hike (and one fungus that I just thought was attractive).