hiking in the catoctins

had a great weekend with the camera jan. 10-11; on saturday we were marching in washington, d.c., and on sunday - despite the cold - we went for a hike up in thurmont, MD, in catoctin mountain national park. it's a short hike to chimney rock and one i've done three or four times now, but this time - it being a very cold sunday - we saw only one other hiker the whole time we were there. the first part of the hike is steep, and at that level we saw ice thinly coating rocks and fallen tree boles, but once we got to the more level part of the trail, higher up, there was ice everywhere - outlining every tree branch and twig, crunching underfoot in the thick blanket of fallen leaves - and if you stood in silence for just a moment you could hear the tremendous, muted music of creaking, cracking ice everywhere around you, in the high waving treetops and the chill stillness closer to ground. it was SO worth the cold - raheela said it felt like walking to hogsmeade :) - and even musa enjoyed himself (particularly since he was being carried 90 percent of the time!). so here are some of my favorites from the hike! after this post... YES i'm taking the camera to DC for whatever i can catch of the inaugural crowds on tuesday!! i can't wait!