After dealing with a prolonged cold blast in mid-February, the day looked good for a hike with temperatures forecast in the upper 30s. My plans were to explore a coulee and an area around some sandstone buttes. To my surprise the temperatures reached just over 50 degrees, making for a very comfortable winter hike. The only challenge - the snow was sticky and built up on my ice cleats. Every so many steps I had to kick a tree or stomp on the ground to remove the snow. The highlight of the afternoon was spotting a bald eagle. However, it was too far away to photograph.
Part of a sandstone butte, glowing in the late afternoon sun.
Despite limited moisture this winter, there is still some snow on the north facing slopes.
Some leaves that survived the fall, still on the tree in the winter. Not a common site.
Red twig dogwood brightens up the winter landscape.
More red twig dogwood, in an area with a lot of springs.
A big flock of geese flew from the uplands and west towards the Missouri River. I counted about ~535 geese.
This is an example of how the springs run and the ice builds up in the coulee throughout the winter.
Again, another example of how the springs run and the ice builds up in the coulee throughout the winter.
A spring in the foreground, and the resulting buildup of ice.
Beautiful shadows from the many oak trees in the coulee.