Last Saturday, Beth and I went back to the Richard Smart Conservation Area to visit Devil’s Den. The trails were covered in ice, and the steeper parts were pretty slick. As a result, we walked to the side of them in the snow where the footing was much better.

We set out on this hike a lot later than I had meant too, due to a much needed nap that I had taken earlier. But it was worth it. 🙂

This is one of the things I saw:

Hemlock stump

Hemlock stump

This is the stump of a hemlock tree. In most trees, the bark decays before the wood does, but with hemlock, the reverse is true. So they leave stumps like this with an outer sheath of bark standing up higher than the rest of the stump.

I didn’t get a lot of photos as the light was failing fast. I had taken my flashlight out of my camera bag the previous week and loaned it to Beth, and I had neglected to get it back from her. Therefore, we really needed to hustle to get back to the car before it got dark, so all the shots I attempted of the woods at sunset were too rushed. Here’s one:

Racing the Sun

Racing the Sun

The trail here winds around in a very serpentine pattern. I think the intent was to make a longer more enjoyable trail in the limited space available. I was tempted to leave the marked trail and cut through the woods to shorten our hike, but resisted the temptation. That would have been a good way to make our trek even longer, and almost would have guaranteed we’d still be there when it got dark.

There was hardly any snow on the ground, which is the big story of our winter this year. The winter that was not. Maybe we’ll get some snow before the season is over, but I’m starting to resign myself to a snowless winter.

Tomorrow will be a busy day as it is Pathfinder Sabbath at our church. The club will be responsible for the entire church service. We are doing a three-act skit, most of which has been pre-recorded. Our video enthusiasts have been working pretty hard all week to get the video editing done, and last night the live actors were able to rehearse interacting with the video segments. That went pretty well I thought. Yes there is some less-than-optimal acting involved in the pre-recorded segments, but we work with what we have. And everyone had fun, so I count this as a success. I believe someone was planning to record the skit (the live and pre-recorded parts together) – if they’ll upload it to the innerwebs, I’ll link you to it.

After the church service we will eat lunch, and then the Bible Bowl starts. Bible Bowl is something like a quiz game. I don’t know how much the kids have been studying 1 & 2 Corinthians, but I have reminded them every week for about two months. The rest is up to them.

When that’s over, we will have dinner, and then the Pinewood Derby starts. I did not have time to build a car this year, but Beth made a pretty nice one – it looks like a rabbit. Only when hers nearly finish did I finally get an idea for a car of my own – a tortoise. What better competitor to her hare? But by then, it was too late for me to execute, so… no car for me this year. I’ll take some pictures of her car for you tomorrow during the race.