Honorable mention

One of my favorite photos.

From time to time I like to enter a few photos in a photo contest. Today one of my photos, below, received honorable mention in the “People” category, at the annual “Elden Murray photo contest” hosted by the Hanover library. Here’s a link to the photo on their site, where you can also explore the winning photos.

I chose to enter this photo because I enjoyed the colorful action of this elderly Rajasthani vendor while he was making chai (tea).

Chai wallah in Shahpura, Rajasthan, India.

The photo is from our 2017 tour of India; read the blog post.

Worcester Mountain

A snowshoe hike in to-die-for conditions.

Since the impressive snowfall we received in mid-December, I’ve been dreaming about another opportunity to snowshoe in deep powder through a forest of snow-covered trees. Today my dreams came true, in an absolutely incredible hike on a mountain I’ve never visited before. Read on… and be sure to check out the photo gallery!

On the summit of Worcester Mountain, Vermont.
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Glacial erratic

Skiing the trails of northeastern Lyme.

One of the cool things about skiing through the remote areas of northeastern Lyme, as I was early this morning after last night dusted the area with an inch or two of fresh powder, is the striking appearance of huge boulders in the middle of an otherwise uneventful patch of lowland forest. These boulders are likely glacial erratics, brought here long ago astride one of the slow-moving glaciers that flowed over this terrain during the last ice age.

A glacial erratic sits beside the ski trails in northeast Lyme.

Or maybe not; some of my readers have a geology background. Correct me if I’m wrong!

A bit further long the trail this morning was a more contemporary form of wildlife: a domestic dog, complete with matching winter coat, quietly and alertly watching me approach while he waited for his pet human to catch up from around the bend.

A dog waits for me on the trails.

Four deer a-leaping

It was a fox.

I returned to the hillside behind our house for another stroll this afternoon. This time I encountered a group of four deer, leaping off through the forest before I had a chance to capture a photograph. I also passed through an area with extensive deer activity, including two deer beds – shallow impressions in the snow where a deer had clearly slept overnight, leaving an icy patch where the snow had melted under her.

a deer bed.

I also returned to the tracks I’d examined yesterday, now armed with the guidebook. It’s now pretty clear these are fox tracks, presumably red fox. Much harder to see in these photos than in the field, I’m afraid.

A fox track.
A fox track.

A walk in the woods

A sunny day for a walk.

I try to reserve a bit of daylight, each day, to get out for a walk. When I’m especially busy, or lazy, I walk up the road and back, keeping an eye peeled for that bald eagle I saw over the river last week. But when I have a bit more time and energy, I don my pack and strike out up the steep hill on the other side of the road. These hills were formed several centuries ago when the Connecticut River was formed by the receding waters of the Pleistocene-era Lake Hitchcock, after the glaciers receded from what is now northern New England. The hillside is steep, but it’s a good chance to get my legs moving, to fill my lungs with fresh air, to follow my whims, and to see what I might find. What did I find out there today? read on.

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Retroblog –

Looking back at some photos and video from our IISc campus home.

As I mentioned recently, I will occasionally post some flashbacks to some favorite old trips and events. I’ll start with our sabbatical in India: we lived in Bangalore from August 2008 through May 2009, at the Indian Institute of Science.

We lived on the beautiful campus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), in a quiet neighborhood of two-story apartments housing professors’ families. The Electrical and Communications Engineering (ECE) building, shown below, and where I had an office, was just a block away.

The ECE building at IISc has a manicured garden out front.

Lyme skiing

Enjoying a local winter day.

One of the grand things about living here in Lyme is the opportunity to ski on some spectacular terrain, thanks to a local family that opens their land to skiers and snowshoers – and grooms dozens of kilometers of trails. A light powdery snowfall in each of the last few days has added a fresh surface to these trails, making for a delightful skiing opportunity this morning.

ski trail in northeast Lyme.

The weather was chilly, however, with temperatures in the single digits and a light breeze blowing across the three ponds of this area. I stuck to a relatively short loop, due to frozen fingers. The overflowing parking lot was an indication, however, that many other local residents were out enjoying this beautiful day.

Brook crossing near Cummins Pond in northeast Lyme.

I’m grateful to live in Lyme where this, and another patch of forestland is groomed for public skiing, by volunteers and generous landowners. And, where the Dartmouth Skiway grants free lift access to Lyme schoolchildren. Thank you Lyme!

Black Mountain

A snowy day on Black Mountain.

Black Mountain is one of my favorite places to hike – it has a great view, it’s not a long hike, it’s not a long drive, and it is small enough to stay below the clouds on most cloudy days. Indeed, I was just here last month. Today, however, there was a crunchy base of snow about 2-4″ thick, and a fresh dusting of powder about 1/2″–2″ on top. Read on!

Approaching the summit of Black Mountain.
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Retroblog – Indian FRO

Direct experience with Indian bureaucracy.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I will occasionally post some flashbacks to some favorite old trips and events. I’ll start with our sabbatical in India: we lived in Bangalore from August 2008 through May 2009, at the Indian Institute of Science.

One of the early challenges was to register with the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO). This is a long blog post, but one that people still mention to me even a decade later! Wow.

The office of the Commissioner of Police, in Bangalore.

Snow curls

In the right conditions, snow curls as it slides off our roof.

It’s raining today, aka miserable winter weather for a guy who loves snow and snow sports. What little snow we had left is melting quickly. As a fun side effect of the past week’s moderate temperatures (highs just above freezing, lows just below freezing), however, the snow on our garage roof is curling. What the heck? read on.

Snow slowly slides off our garage roof as it melts, rising up where it hits the snow-retainer bars. It froze into this position a week ago! (Photo from two days ago, 14 January.)
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