On Saturday, the professor and I went to meet our friend Heather, for a guided creative snowshoe excursion at the Maple Ridge Trails in Mindemoya. It was a breezy minus 7 ° overcast day.
Our guide encouraged us to use all of our senses while on our excursion. One of the first things I saw was a tiny black spider slowly making his way across the snow! The bush itself was mostly silent except for the sound of the wind in the tree tops. I didn’t see or hear any birds at all. The forest, at first glance, was many shades of grey. When I really stopped to look I saw other colours – green moss & ferns, a coral lichen, creamy coloured fungi, rust leaves and bright red markers that showed us the way on the trail. There was no ‘forest smell’ at all – not like hiking in the fall.
There were a series of fairy doors throughout the trails but I really had to watch for them. Even in the snow they were tricky to find. We saw a couple of massive rocks that seemed so out of place. One particular ‘erratic’ was 6 m wide, 5 m high and 7 m long. A deposit left behind by a glacier moving over the land many moons ago.
We stopped when we arrived at the drawing box. We each made a little work of art to leave behind in the box. I had a red pencil crayon and did a rubbing of tree bark and sketched my snow shoes over the rubbing . All in all we were out on the trails for almost 2 hours. After a quick stop for a hot tea, we headed for home.
This was our first Outside the Box excursion organized by 4elemets living arts. We had such a relaxing and interesting day. We will certainly look forward to more 4e activities and are already making plans to visit more of the Manitoulin trails.
Photos by the professor and Heather.