A Haiku for Early Winter Hiking

Boot prints in the snow

First day of winter hiking

Birds chirp for spring time

Snowflakes drift through the air to cover the leaves of fall and an icy sheen forms over puddles from the season’s last rain, winter hiking is a sensual and mystic experience. Each sound and each sight is amplified through the lens of crisp whiteness. This haiku found its way to composition during this year’s first winter hike in the Adirondack Mountains. As I paused for a break along a snow covered slope, I became entranced with the firm impression of my boot prints; I’ve missed them since the snow melted in April. My footprints are after all my companions on these fantastic solo adventures into the backcountry. Excitement grew for this time of snow and ice, for it is the time of the best hiking. This poem contrasts how early snows bring the scurry of the forest, of squirrels and birds making one last effort to prepare for the hard times ahead. As the first winter snows coat the forests white, the birds foreboding sings of the desolate whereas all I can see is pure beautiful wilderness.

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