Very luckily mountain views greeted us upon arrival, then quickly these views were replaced by large, soft snowflakes. As the participants were used to snowshoeing, we did cover a lot of ground.
A huge flock of Pine Siskins repeatedly swooped here and there above us, each time settling high in conifers. Snowshoe Hare tracks abound in this mid elevation forest of Amabilis Fir, Mountain Hemlock and Yellow Cedar. This is good habitat, with a strong understory of shrubs providing extra protection between the trees, reliable water in the creeks and patches of wetland, and a plentiful supply of hemlock and fir seeds on the trees and fallen onto the snow.
It was very interesting to see the changes in the patterns of the Snowshoe Hare tracks. For example, in an open patch of wetland where there was no cover, the distance between tracks reached about a metre! Other tracks were suggestive of squirrel and bird, plus one larger animal with prints about the size, shape and depth of something like a fox. We were keenly curious about all the activity we missed by passing through at mid day!
Submitted by Judith Holm
Photos by Judith Holm