Yesterday we got our second snowfall in November. By mid afternoon much of it had melted in the Denver area, but not so to the west. My better half and I went back to hike at Staunton State Park, this time with ice spikes and Yak Trax. We were just outside the entrance when we saw the first wildlife of the day: a black fox with a white-tipped tail. Once inside, we strapped on our ice spikes (and warm clothing–it was in the 20s) and headed up the Mason Creek trail. We saw a mule deer buck on the way up to the overlooks. The quiet was profound, everything still beneath the blanket of snow. The snow itself was gorgeous, with crystals glinting in the sun like jewels. The ice spikes worked great at first. But as the day warmed up (relatively, I should add–after we hiked about nine miles, the temperature was still in the mid 40s), the snow formed clumps in our ice spikes. We traded them for the Yak Trax, which worked well.
The birds were not out quite as much as they had been the week before. Again, the most predominant birds were Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Dark-eyed Juncos. We also saw a couple of Steller Jays and Downy Woodpeckers, and a lone Brown Creeper.