The weather on Tuesday was sublime with air temperatures in the mid-tens; about 15ºC. Much of the snow in the backyard had melted, but the grass and ground sill felt soggy underfoot. Still, I wanted to satisfy my urge to be outdoors. I had been inside for far too long during the cold, grey and snow damp weeks of January and February. I am still looking for new contract opportunities, and without work to distract me, being at home was affecting my mental health. I was tired of the fluorescent glow from the iMac's display. I wanted to feel some natural light on my face. I decide to hike the Aunt Molly Trail on St. Michael's Preserve.
The first part of the trail was a mixture of ice, water, mud and snow slushy. But once I got up the steep incline near the brook, things changed as the hiking trail opened. The sun fell and soaked my face in cosmic rays of warmth.
The trail changed to a crunch layer of packed snow. I could see that many other hikers had trampled the snow and packed it onto the trail.
Despite the warmer weather and exposure to full sun, there were large patches of snow. In some places, there was still so much snow that I could not see the trail.
In other areas, the leaf biomass's warmth and the lichen had melted the snow to reveal green patches, not just from the Holly.
I could hear bird song even as the trail changed from ice and snow to mud and ice and ice and water.
Then the trail changed again, mostly mud and ice. The trail was less open and more claustrophobic, lined with leafless trees and shrubs. I could see pockets of green lichen on dead branches and the base of trees.
I was mildly concerned that I could no longer tell if I was still on the trail, that I might be wandering off. It was then clear again, and soon, I was back where I started and ready to head home.