I have spent a lot of time in the winter woods since 1994 when I moved to Grand Marais. I'm not sure I have ever seen the snow "sculptures" cling to trees in as elaborate a fashion as what we saw yesterday. It was like snow shoeing through a natural art museum.
For half of the snowshoe we followed a road that the snowmobiles had packed down. For the other half we bushwhacked through the deep snow in the woods. It was interesting.
We saw a face on the right side of this snow cling on.
For a while we walked on the north side of a ridge.
The largest "mushroom cap" that we saw is shown below.
The easiest and safest way to get down the hills is to slide...
I have never before seen such large clumps cling to the tops of trees.
The woodpeckers went nice on this tree. The bottom hole is over three feet tall.
The snow sculpture below is a down hill skier in the tuck position.
Most of the rest of the lake's surface seemed frozen. However, Jamey explained that this lake has resident beavers. The beavers use the same routes to move under the ice causing it to be thin above these routes. Thus, if you try to walk across the frozen surface you can encounter thin ice sections, too. We didn't snowshoe across the lake and instead went around.
After two hours of snowshoeing we arrived at Jamey's target destination. He had never been to this spot in the winter, but guessed that there would be open water due to the natural spring. He was right. It was absolutely gorgeous with the puffs of snow decorating the top.
Jamey took a few photos to document our lunch spot, claiming to be a "professional." I brought an old shower curtain and towels for us to sit on. Lois made a great lunch including fancy tuna fish sandwiches on her home-made bread, cole slaw, muffins, and an orange. Our "couch" is propped on a large yellow birch that was angling away toward the spring. There was a lot of snow clinging to the tree. If that snow would have let loose, it would have avalanched right at us -- but it didn't.
In the photo series below Jamey demonstrates one way that us Yoopers put out a winter camp fire.
In the center of the picture below notice the long snow cling on. It is hard to tell, but that snow sculpture is over 20 feet long.
Below is a cling on that we think looks like Santa Claus.
Lois and I usually take the trail or flatter ground. Jamey does not. He climbed on this huge downed tree and used the pine tree to get down.
That was not easy given the length of his antique Iverson snowshoes, which could have got caught in the pine tree branches. It works out for Lois and I that Jamey uses these snowshoes. He always goes first and doesn't sink in the snow as much as we do with our smaller new generation snow shoes. That packs the trail a bit to make it easier for us.
The snow cling on below was around four feet in diameter -- barely hanging on the thin branches.