Winter Daze by Williams Lake

I took a short hike on Jan. 22, 2013 (snow falling & cold) with Nick H. & Kathleen H., and another on Jan 24th (sunny & very cold) with Vasile I. & Kathleen H. We followed, more or less, an informally maintained trail on the east side and to the south of Williams Lake.

Snowy days are like old black and white photos: a comfortable white blanket on the ground and dark conifers with glimpses of colour as if painted in. Cold sunny days in winter with snow on the ground and blue skies are uplifting & refreshing, like diving into a coolish lake on a hot summer day.

Once into the trail a little, you feel like you are "miles from anywhere" when in fact the urban environment is only a half kilometer or so away. Even the noise is blocked out by trees & hills. I hope it stays that way!

- David P.

Click on photos below for larger versions

Pinhead Island in Turtle Bay, photographed from the shore by the dam (snowy day) - we were hesitant to go on the ice.

Pinhead Island up close - a sunny day 2 very cold days later than photo at left, & ice was quite safe to walk on.

Skaters Bay (snowy day)

One the many majestic Red Pines, not common in the wild around Halifax (snowy day)

A pronounced indentation at the base of a Red Pine (a "pucker") with charcoaled surface inside - apparently the tree survived the 1963 fire. (Snowy day)

One of the many majestic, old, White Pines (snowy day).

The brown wood of a snag provides a little color (snowy day). Snags are one of the items contributing to this area being a great bird habitat.

Even the Black Spruce look great! (Snowy day.)

A major reason I love cold winters - you can go anywhere by foot. (Sunny day.)

Beaver House by the shore, SE corner of Williams lake. (Sunny day.)

Nick calls this the "Tamarack Fen" (Snowy day.)

Rock face (sunny day). Some intersting mosses here.

This stream, which empties into SE corner of Williams Lake, is moving enough water to keep it from freezing. It drains a set of wetlands. We are heading upstream. (Snowy day.)

Ascending "The Gully" - you can hear the water rushing below the bolders, but not see it. (Snowy day.)

A fluorescent lichen & coiled frond of Polypody Fern at The Gully provide some color on the snowy day.

Ascending "The Gully", sunny day.

Seasonal wetland. There were a few inches at least of water sitting here, frozen, accumulating during a prolonged rainfall earlier on; in the summer, it is generally muddy without standing water (sunny day.)

Wetland that that holds a lot of water, sunny day.