Signs in the Winter Woods

Signs in the Winter Woods

A couple days back, during a warm spell, my buddy Scott suggested a walk in the winter woods. Frankly I was glad to get out of the adobe. Man, this pandemic is causing more than the usual amount of cabin fever. Turned out to be a good hike on some nicely maintained trails. And we saw many signs in the winter woods.

Signs of wildlife, you ask? Nope. These were manmade signs. Right at the trail head we were greeted with a coyote warning. Fair enough.  Yeah they are out there in increasing numbers, but rarely a problem, although dogs and coyotes can be a bad mix. The next sign I’ll show  really caught my eye. It revealed the multiuse of this preserve.  Man-oh-man, it was complex enough to be on an urban street corner. Don’t believe I have ever seen a sign in the woods quite like it. 

     Let me see. Bikers yield to hikers. Hikers yield to horses. Bikers yield to horses too. And horses yield to nobody. Yeah size matters. Okay, but do we need a traffic light during rush hour? Wait a minute now, what about the damn coyotes? Who yields to them? Umm, I guess we need a bigger sign.

Hey let me tell you about one more thing. Upon arrival, we met “Bud”, a pit bull mix. He was there for a walk and may not yield to anyone. But check out those glasses. His owner told us “Bud” likes to jam his face in a brush piles and gets twigs caught in his eyes. Which in turns leads to a costly trip to the vet. At first I felt sorry for “Bud”, but you know he looks way cool in those red goggles. 

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2 Responses to Signs in the Winter Woods

  1. Ted Rzepski says:

    Hiking is about my best option to get a little exercise. Closest options are the extensive MDC reservoir forests in central Connecticut. I estimate there are 3 times the amount of people hiking and biking compared to precovid times.

    The forest has large lake like reservoirs, streams, rock walls and animals typical to Connecticut woods. Hazards include Lyme bearing ticks, Copperheads, Reports of rattle snakes, and I once encountered a crazy raccoon, probably rabid.

    Fishing is not permitted and at times you can witness hatches and rises. I seen local boys sneak in at twilight to fish. I caution them to seek places that can’t be seen by police driving the roads.

    The only thing that pisses me off is selfish dog owners who bag the turds and leave the bag there. I’ve encountered people doing this and they insisted they would pick it up on their return to the car. Several days later it’s still there. I usually pick up trash as I walk but I draw the line on bags of dog poop.

    Still, it’s fascinating to revisit forest locations several times a year. Over decades you can see the progression of certain species. For example There’s a south facing hill that’s being dominated by American Beech trees. In the summer it’s so pleasant to take a break in the bluish shade of these trees.
    It’s all good.

  2. Ed Mitchell says:

    Hey Ted, You bet, a walk in the woods is good for you. If the weather is real bad I’ll do the treadmill at the gym. A bit boring but it works. Much of the time I think dogwalkers simply forget to pick up the bags. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    You’re right on warm winter days, the ticks are out and about, although slowed down. Still its wise to check yourself, especially if you wandered off the trail. Years ago I picked one off me on a February hike in a Lyme forest.

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