Today was a cold minus 11°C, and our 19km ski was accompanied by snow flurries of varying intensity throughout.
The four of us met up with Susan and Roy at P16 car park, the surface of which, under an inch of snow, would have made any skating rink owner jealous.
The trail was quiet, but our sojourn for lunch at Healey Cabin was enlivened by the presence of half a dozen young children on an 'away afternoon' from their home schooling.
Luckily the trails were free of ice following overnight grooming, and the going was slow but easy. The final hill down to P16, which can be tricky in icy conditions, was a delight.
On the feeder at Healey were Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, and a couple of female Pine Grosbeaks. Red squirrels darted back and forth beneath the feeder and the trees. That follows a bit of excitement at home in Ottawa yesterday, when a swarm of Pine Grosbeaks, American Goldfinches and Purple Finches, all appeared in the garden. They were sent scurrying for safety when a Sharp-shinned Hawk landed in the ornamental cherry tree that was being stripped of its berries. We've also seen a flock of Wild Turkeys by the roadside.
P16 (Pine Road) > #50 > Healey Cabin (lunch) > junction with #52 > return on #50 to P16. 19km. Back at home by 3pm, after a 9.30 start from home. (It's an hour's drive each way.)
The top picture shows Sue, Susan, Roy, Ken and Helen, shortly after leaving P16 in a flurry of snow. Beneath it is a male Pine Grosbeak, taken yesterday in the garden.