Winter doesn’t have to be a time for the winter “blahs”, and a “can’t wait for spring attitude”. The groundhog has done his thing, but no matter what, we still have some winter weather left.
It probably isn’t the favorite season of most, but winter isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great time for hiking, walking in the woods, trying your luck at walleye or sauger fishing, or just getting outdoors.
While many people park themselves by the fireplace or in front on the TV or a cell phone, most winter days are good for hiking in the woods. Hey, football is over.
Sure there are lousy winter days not fit for man nor beast, but most can be enjoyable if you are properly dressed and carry appropriate gear.
So what’s so great about a winter walk? One advantage is you can see more. Often you can see things you can’t when leaves are hanging on trees and other plants. Now, you can see rock formations, cabins, etc.,
With no leaves on the tress and bushes, it also is great for watching birds and various animals such as wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits and deer. It’s a good time to scout for spring’s turkey. And, you may find a deer antler shed.
And now, through mid-March you have a shot at seeing an eagle. While more and more eagles now nest in this part of the country, many migratory eagles spend their winters in the area.
During the same time period also is a good time to fish for walleye and sauger in Kentuckiana streams.
Another reason for winter hiking is the lack of pesky insects. There’s no need to worry about mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks are rare. About the only time you may run into a tick is a warm winter day, when the pests become active.
When there is a small snowfall, the woods truly can become a winter wonderland. Often small waterfalls turn into a thing of beauty when the water freezes making an attractive sculpture.
There are a couple of safety items to keep in mind. Wear plenty of warm clothes, and wear them layered. You can always take off a layer, if you become too warm. But if you are cold and don’t have extra clothes you can be in trouble.
Anytime you are hiking, it is a good idea to hike with someone. It’s also a must that you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. However this advice is particularly important in the winter. In summer if you are lost a half day, it may be a little frightening, but you won’t die from hypothermia. That isn’t the case in winter time. Should you fall and injure a leg, it could be a serious problem while you await someone to find you.
Carrying a cell phone is a good idea, however in some rural areas a phone signal may be questionable.
Now is a good time to get off the couch and enjoy winter. Soon, we may be complaining about the heat.