December 11, 2009 09:25:26
Posted By shefisher
The temperature is finally inching up into the double digits. This has been a week in the deep freeze, with a foot or more of snow and single digit temperatures. Venturing out on snowshoes, I got a workout cutting trail through a couple miles of foot-deep powder. The view over Chalk Creek and the sight of frosted rails pointing to the river just beyond the horizon made the effort worthwhile.
Once the snowing stopped, icy, high-speed winds plunged wind chills below zero. Fluffy fresh expanses of white were sculpted into drifts, mounds, and waves.
While fishing has not been an option this week, other wildlife has offered a lesson in surviving arctic conditions. Hawks and a falcon cling to high thin branches, watchful for unaware field mice. A coyote competes in the search as he trots across the same open plain. Once the storm cleared, a bald eagle perched on the dead snag over the river, perplexed as to how to pluck out its sushi between ice patches sliding along in the current.
The best visual treat has been the large herd of pronghorn just across the road. There must be close to 80, and they've hung out here for 4 days now, grazing, resting under the trees, running across the wind-crusted snow. They are camera shy, however. Photos had to be taken from quite a distance. The occasional driver stopping alongside the highway for the photo op sent them up into the trees or to the safety of the next ridge.
My fishing fix will come in Denver this weekend where I will join my Colorado Women Flyfisher friends for our annual Holiday Party. We'll swap stories and pictures of the just-passed year of fishing adventures, and share hopeful plans for the upcoming new year's destinations.
Merry Christmas to All!