It Makes Me Wonder . . .

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~ Socrates

Walking through the woods is my way of relaxing and exercising. During the winter months there is usually too much snow in northern Minnesota to make that an easy thing to do and I am limited to my plowed gravel road. There are no groomed trails nearby and I have not invested in a good pair of snowshoes, yet. The bitter cold and short daylight hours are also a factor that sometimes make it difficult to get outside for those walks.

This year is different. With only about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and warm temperatures (it warmed to 52º last thursday and remained rather warm all weekend) getting out into the woods is a joy. Walking is easy and it has been warm enough to bring my camera with.

Walking with my camera automatically makes me examine my environment in detail. I have walked the same paths a hundred times, therefore, the unique and original pictures are found when I am looking at details. In a normal winter, finding those unique pictures gets to be pretty tough. The snow covers everything and taking pictures of the cold white stuff gets old. The winter of 2011-12 is far from normal. Low growing plants are not buried in snow this year and provide for some interesting textures and colors. (more pictures at the end of the post)

Yesterday, I saw this feather covered twig of brush. When I find things like this, it makes me wonder what the story is? Did the bird have a major “itch” it needed to scratch? Did a hunting bird (owl, hawk, eagle) store its kill on the stick? Did a bird impale itself accidentally similar to how they fly into my windows? (no other feathers, body parts or blood were anywhere to be found … makes this feathered twig a real mystery)

The animal tracks I saw on my weekend walk made me wonder, too. The small details in the animal tracks are easily visible in the snow this year. Some I easily recognized (squirrel, fox, and deer). Some tracks were strange-looking and they made me wonder about what animal passed through and whether or not they live here all the time, but I just never see them? Tracks are mysterious and make my mind wonder about their life … Where are the animals going? What were they doing? Is their home close by? Were they being chased or chasing something else?

All the little details that can be found in the woods this mild winter have a story behind them … and it makes me wonder.

Here are a few more of the mild winter textures and colors I found this past weekend and all of my “wonders” about them: (click on images to enlarge)
~ How does the chickadee get the seed out of the shell without dropping it?
~ What did the nuthatch find that was so interesting?
~ What’s with all this soft fuzz … confused pussy willows of some kind?
~ How do the prickles, fuzz and snow still co-exist after all of these months?
~ Why are some oak leaves transparent and others remain orange on the same tree?


One last “wonder” … Why I thought I hit the Publish Button on Sunday, but did not?
Oops …

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.” ~Albert Einstein

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~ by bearyweather on January 11, 2012.

21 Responses to “It Makes Me Wonder . . .”

  1. Ah, the wonders of winter, whether mild or harsh!

  2. Love the Einstein quote. Your pics are fabulous. Glad you got a chance to get out in the woods this past weekend. I got out, too and enjoyed it immensely.

    • Thanks Suzi.
      I am sorry I have not stopped by to visit this week, but I will very soon. Work has been crazy and a family crisis popped up this week. I did see your pictures of the clear cut land near your home … it is a tearful sight. It makes me wonder why immediate “profit” means more to so many people then taking care of our world with an eye towards the future. We are destroying our planet at an increasing rate and it scares me. (Sounds like I have just written myself into a future post ;0) I will be by to see your weekend, soon.

  3. Beautiful details. Thank you so much for taking me on the Minnesota woods walk with you. I, too, find that I look and see more details when my camera is in my pocket, which is why I try to to forget it whenever I go walking.

    • Whether to take the camera with on a walk is a dilemma sometimes. I am sure to run into something spectacular if I leave it at home, so I usually take it with. I find joy looking for the details as I walk.

  4. Hi Bearyweather, Thanks for sharing this walk with us. I feel like I was walking along in those woods right beside you. I love the picture of the Chickadee. My husband and I have a joke that is “if it moves, I will be taking its picture”! Ha! Have a great day!

    • Thanks for coming along. The things that move are not always the easiest to take pictures of .. I need much more practice … but, I can tell from your blog that you have a talent for that. Chickadees are my favorite bird, well at least in the winter.

  5. I enjoy your photos and the words you write. We have so much to learn from nature.

  6. Love, love, LOVE the photo of the feather covered twig of brush. ♥ Love it so much I had to comment before I finished reading about it. Will finish reading now….

    • I saw that feathered twig on my way to the mailbox and had to go back and get my camera. I am glad you liked it. Any theories (wonderings) of your own about how the feathers got there? It was such a strange sight.

  7. Wonderful wonderings, Bearyweather. I wonder some of these things too. Winter is a good time for wondering, as evidenced by your wonderful wondering photos. 🙂

  8. Love these pictures. Hope all is well your way. Vickie

    • Thanks. I went through some tough times this Fall, but everything is great, now. Sorry I have not been by to visit your blog lately, life is a bit crazy. I will be by soon.

  9. So glad i found you! Your signature looks like MOM! :0) (added one of your pics on my blog) As you……take my camera and shoot and yes wonder and in awe of so much. Getting lost in nature has a way of bringing us back :home:. Really enjoy your neck of the woods too!

    thank you

    Oh this is my blog where I added your pic :0)
    my blog

    • I am glad you found me, too. Actually, it is not MOM … it is my initials MAM .. like the candy (m&m’s).
      Thanks for being considerate when using my pictures and linking back to me. I will be by soon to see the blog you have created.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  10. Isn’t it so lovely when we can still walk in the woods at this time of year? I am not surprised that you were able to take such beautiful photos and share them. I love finding feathers in the woods…your discovery must have made your heart beat faster for a few minutes.

  11. Excellent pictures, Bearyweather! A wonderful way to document your walk, and walking in nature is one of my favorite things to do.

    I wonder if the fuzzywinter plants are Thimbleweed? I’ve seen some of that myself in the cold weather and it can look very fuzzy.

    Thanks for the great post!

  12. Yes, nature is so very relaxing!

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