Thankful Outdoors: Taking Strolls Through the Woods at Night

Boone/Photo by Scott Hopperdietzel

Submitted to OnFocus – My outdoor activities for this week were limited due to projects that needed attention around the house. Nonetheless, when times get busy like that, I still find time to go for a hike. A good walk in the outdoors will clear a mind that is cluttered with too darn much.

Sunday afternoon, while most of Wisconsin was cheering on their beloved Green and Gold, Boone and I took a stroll in the fresh snowfall from the night before. Spending the earlier part of the morning, busy running the snowblower, I knew the day would be a good one to take a good long walk.

Boone loves a fresh snowfall.

I have always noticed any of the dogs I owned, their reaction to fresh snow has been the same. They get crazy playful, like a cat on catnip! Boone is no different, we get snow, and he loves to bound and roll in the fluff. I’m amazed at with the short hair of the Weimaraner how cold-resistant he is. That was one concern I had with this breed is how would he handle the winter activities. My buddy has kept up with me well and has not displayed a dislike for the cold weather. In the frigid temps, though, he does get a sweater or jacket put on him. With his wound up energy, he is like a four-legged furnace!

As we strolled along the river bottom that winds through McMillan, I wondered when I would start to see tracks that the wildlife was out moving around in the fresh powder. I could see the dimples left from prior travels, and the only new tracks found were that of a coyote who appeared to be wandering around looking for his next meal.

One of the things I appreciate about a fresh snowfall is how it resets the wintertime scenery. It’s a new canvas for the outdoor to leave impressions. Mother Nature’s way of saying the ground is cluttered with too many tracks, let’s hit the reset button and allow you to leave new ones.

The different species of wildlife at night makes for some interesting encounters.

Many of my hikes take place hours after the sun has set, so I get to hear the sounds of owls and coyotes. The coyotes have been actively talking to each other. Their howls back and forth to each other at times sound so lonely. Do these northern coyotes share stories about why their ancestor Wile E Coyote could never catch that darn roadrunner? With their mating season running between February and March, they are more than likely talking about something else.

There are times that when I hear the owls, their hooting has stopped me in my tracks because the sounds have been almost human-like. I chuckle, wondering if they tell each other how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop. Yes, I relive my youth with that thought as it was a famous commercial that often ran on Saturday morning cartoons for tootsie roll pops.

Due to the limited amount of time spent in the outdoors, those are the only thoughts and observations I have to share with you this week. I do have a DIY tip to share for the week, though. Myles Montplaisir, known as the man behind a popular social media account, “You Betcha,” would appreciate a use that I found for his beloved Busch Latte that he refers to as Nectar of the Gods.

I had been doing drywall work, and the new jug of compound joint that I opened up was a bit on the dry side; as a self-proclaimed DIY’er, I often get creative and use whatever resources you have available to get the job done.

Beer doubles as a home improvement tool and a beverage!

What does one do when you need to add moisture? Well, of course, beer will work! A little splash of the Nectar of the Gods did the trick. I stirred that right into the compound, and I was able to get back to drywall work.

Follow Thankful Outdoors for more home improvement tips; just kidding, I will stick to sharing the outdoors’ adventures and experiences with you.

In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.