Winter 2009

in the outdoors

Skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and lending a helping hand.

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Julie, Kelsey and Dominic For Outing Clubbers, cold weather is no excuse to hibernate! Our winter outdoor adventures began this year with a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trip at Douglas State Forest on Jan. 25th, and a cross-country skiing trip at Northfield Mountain in Northfield, MA, on Feb. 1st. Both trips, co-sponsored by the Athletics Department, were great winter getaways.

At right, with skis in hand, Julie, Kelsey, and Dominic are eager to hit the trails of Northfield Mountain.
Kelsey and Dominic Kelsey and Dominic at Northfield Mountain.

On January 26th, fifteen of us bundled up and headed out to Moore State Park in Paxton on a frigid winter night for a full moon hike. Due to a calendar malfunction, the 26th was actually a new moon, but we had plenty of fun hiking the trails, gazing at the stars, hanging out by the pond, and rolling around in the snow.

group group at covered bridge

For spring break, duty called, and a group of Outing Clubbers volunteered to help clear trails of downed tree limbs left behind by December's devastating ice storm. But then along came another snowstorm and everything got buried again. So the next morning we strapped on snowshoes and helped the Massachusetts Audubon Society track out trails at their Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton.

snowshoe tracks Nicole and Chris

Our tracks above were supposed to be parallel with a gap in between for cross-country skiers, but they got a little wavy crossing one of the meadows. Below, more wavy tracks, but those were made by a porcupine. All around us, the scenery in the freshly fallen snow was absolutely gorgeous!

porcupine tracks scenery
At left, Eve in the woods.

Below, a view of the beaver wetland covered in snow, with Little Wachusett Mountain in the background.
beaver wetland
The following day we headed over to Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, and helped Mass Audubon remove a stand of small trees to create a meadow.

The meadow is designed to provide mating habitat for the American Woodcock. Greg (below) and Chris (right) are toppling trees with bow saws.
Jeff and ax Jeff Meanwhile, Jeff's weapon of choice was his ax! And when Mass Audubon's chainsaw ran out of gas, he decided to tackle a full sized tree with it.
Jeff and Paul Paul (caretaker at Broad Meadow Brook) gives a shove, but it would take several more swings of Jeff's ax before the tree would fall.
Paul, Chris, Greg and Jeff Paul, Chris, Greg and Jeff - Outing Club "lumberjacks" all done for the day.

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