Today Geoff and I went on a backyard expedition of the rolling woods behind our house. And when I say backyard expedition, I mean we literally strapped on some snowshoes, tramped through our backyard and spent three hours traversing the moose tracks and ravines that weave through a veritable wilderness. Geoff has dreams of forming our own personal network of trails where we can cross-country ski, snowboard and hike all winter long; but, man, breaking trail is tough work. While bounding down a steep hillside toward Bridge Creek, I started sliding out of control. I instinctively turned my toes together right before I hit a large root, which sent me flying forward - knees, hands and even face into the snow. The only worse for wear I sustained was a slightly twisted ankle; and only later did I discover that the plastic protectors were still covering my back crampons (I recently bought these snowshoes on eBay and this was their virgin trek). So it was my fault, after all.
While I’m on the subject of entertaining embarrassments, I photographed this cute little northern hawk owl wearing a feathered beret. A woman from a bird rehabilitation center in Anchorage broughtit down for a new exhibit at the Pratt Museum. This bird was the star of a children’s program I attended this morning. The program was predictable enough - squirming kids, loud questions and lots of facts, including the woman’s continued insistence that this bird “is a wild animal. It’s not a pet.” Which is true, I’m sure; poor thing can’t help that it broke it's wing and can't survive in the woods anymore. But if you can put a hat on an owl ... has the line between wild and fashionable been irrevocably crossed? Or could this owl be both? Or neither? It is kind of an ugly hat.