Winter Walk In The Guilford Woods

The Snow-to Shoot Group – it may have been freezing, but we were *chilling* with the maple (left of road behind us) and the sweetgum trees (right of road behind us).

On a snowy December 9th, 2017 my friends Natalie, Momo, and I set off into the white wilderness to get some great pictures, which we coined “Snow-to Shoot.” Setting off together made us forget that the recent “Snowpocalypse” (the term for a particularly snow-filled North Carolina winter) had made our bustling campus a ghost town, with people rushing to go inside rather than sitting around outside, and guardedly walking around the deadly frozen walkways. We laughed and chatted along the way, but all hell broke loose when we got to the pristine snow. It was simply too good an opportunity to resist.

Suddenly I found myself with a face full of snow. In lieu of snowballs, Momo had taken to dumping handfuls of snow on us. At this point, luckily, the snow was still very powdery and at least 2-3 inches around us. Retaliation was inevitable, swift, and snowy, and soon we were all shivering with delight. We trudged up to the Lake, which is where we ran into the Muscovy Ducks (see the post Lackin’ Quackin’ for more details). The Lake had not frozen over, but the only other waterfowl I could see on the water was a Canada Goose. The plants near the bank were sparsely covered with snow, though much more so further into the lawn. Underneath, the leaves and stalks that hadn’t turned brown were green, and perhaps it is because the packed snow provided adequate insulation.

A lone Canada Goose, Branta Canadensis, swims along the cold waters of the Guilford College Lake, while the surrounding land is covered with snow, with detritus and grass poking out.

Through seeing the Guilford College Woods in the winter from this vantage point, I had the opportunity to appreciate just how many trees had kept their greenery by virtue of either their status as evergreens or tolerance of cold temperatures. It was interesting comparing the ground cover near the Guilford College Lake, versus in the Woods. Given that the ground in the Woods is mostly dirt on the trails, the area was very muddy where tracks could be seen. Deeper in the woods, most of the trees were leafless by now, and the shrubs and trees seemed to be entangled in each other.

Tangled branches in the middle of the woods show very little green, but small grass sprouts, fescue perhaps, can be seen poking out of the ground.

Below was one of the many bridges we had found and taken pictures on. This particular part of the woods was full of American Beech trees, which have fascinating leaves.

As you can see in both the picture above, and probably much more clearly in the picture below, the leaves have jagged edges, and it’s winter twigs are particularly unique because they’re long, thin, and have rows of leaves on either side.

American Beech, Fagus Grandifolia

In winding back down that open road, in the rendered ghost town of Guilford College, we were able to reflect how we transformed nature into our winter wonderland, just by delving wholeheartedly in.

The road back to Guilford – snowy, but serene!

Author: Ramya Krishna

Greetings from Guilford College, North Carolina! Planted in Durham, growing in Greensboro, and enjoying the bloom of knowledge!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *