What’s in the Winter Woods?

It’s cloudy, lightly snowing and 25°F. Of all the places on the earth, where do you wish to be the most? Why in the woods of course! Deep in the woods…I don’t blame you…

For when you are  in the woods on a magical afternoon, this beauty is all yours. Not many people share this passion so the treasure is grand and all alone. Silence is loud and the snowflakes are soft. We alone are the only ones to befriend them on this cold winter day.

Do you see the snow missing from this branch? I wonder, did the owl perch here in the midnight hour waiting to strike its prey? Did he succeed? Or did a strong wind barrel the snow down to the ground? I found no evidence of owl wing impressions in the snow, so I’m left to wonder.

No people in sight, just a tiny chickadee that followed me from tree to tree and a penetrating wind which traveled over the field and through my jacket. How do the grasses feel when they hiss in the wind? When the snow granules fly over them at 30 MPH?  Invigorated I’m sure, I felt it too.

At what point does invigorated lead to drowsy? When did this spider succumb to the cold and remain motionless? Why on top of the snow? Where was he going…or was he left there?

I leave the woods with more questions then when I had entered. I am forever learning from these woods and there is no other place that I would like to be.

Today’s trail is part of the Palos trail system (yellow and green trails) of the Cook County Forest Preserves.


  1. Lana: Awww….never too much! If global warming continues, Chicago may feel like southern Illinois in just a few decades with little snow! I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

    Joan: Probably dead you are right. But the question is how did he get there? Most spiders lay eggs and die in the same year, but some last up to two years becasue they hibernate and have an antifreeze substance in their system. This allows them to survive the winter, thawing out during the spring. My guess is that a chickadee or other bird found this hibernating spider and dropped it mid-flight. Maybe…maybe not. 🙂

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