I went on a winter hike today…the first day of 2014. I followed a deer trail as it wound itself through the six foot cattails. When I came out on the lake, I found it covered with a maze of snowmobile tracks. It has been a good winter for the snowmobilers. I spotted a beaver lodge on the other side of the lake and headed in that direction. Once there, I checked around the structure with my walking stick, just to make sure there wasn't any thin ice. I climbed up onto the frozen pile of sticks and mud and found a nice flat place to sit. It was a good four feet high, so I could see for a quite a distance. The sun was setting behind the clouds, and I spotted a few yellow lights twinkling in windows off in the distance.
It was the silence that I found most rewarding. The temp was below zero, but I was comfortable. The snow muted the sound and I was surrounded by quiet. Nothing moved or sang. No birds flew. No flickering computer screen or HD TV. I enjoyed a very peaceful setting as the light began to give way to darkness. I was very content as I sat on my elevated perch. It was a good start to the New Year.