Tracking fox

Our wild neighbors.

Another snowstorm, on Sunday through Monday, left about 6-8″ of fresh, powdery snow across the fields and forests around us. On Monday morning I headed across the street and into the forest behind the house, as I have done so often over the years, bushwhacking up the steep hill through the woods. The forest is relatively young and open, having been logged periodically and well managed for a variety of species – pine, fir, hemlock, oak, maple, and more. I enjoy rambling through these woods, following the fading trails left by loggers, especially in winter – because the snow exposes stories of the wildlife that live here. It’s hard to see in the photo below, but the deer walked this path earlier than me, this morning.

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Sticky snow

Overnight transformation.

On Friday we had a lovely snowstorm that brought us only a couple of inches of snow… but it was fairly wet snow. It stuck to every twig and leaf, and there has been absolutely no wind… so the forests are now a beautiful palette of white, brown, and green.

Snow on the bushes and trees of Lyme Hill.
Snow on the pine trees of Lyme Hill; deer tracks show recent passage.

Another snowstorm is due tonight… I’m hoping we’ll get a substantial snowfall that will provide deep powder for snowshoeing and skiing!

Trail signs along the Appalachian Trail to Holts Ledge, passing Trapper John shelter.

River ice

Let’s get winter going… please?

Back here in New Hampshire, it has a been a gray and drizzly week. So it was with great pleasure that today dawned sunny and cold – well below freezing, as it should be for January. (We’re still facing crazy conditions, though, with nights below freezing and days above freezing, a major confusion for the maple trees who think spring has already come!)

The Connecticut River is wide open – it can’t freeze over in these conditions. The water lapping at the shore’s edge, though, can produce some entrancing patterns where water meets rock in freezing temperatures.

Ultra-thin ice forms along the shore of the Connecticut River.

This photo spans only one or two feet across, and the water has receded somewhat… leaving ultra-thin sheet of ice high and dry. Beautiful!

Kiawah

Photographic opportunities.

We spent the holiday week on Kiawah Island, outside Charleston South Carolina. As in much of the U.S. it was an unusually cold week; here, where winter temperatures rarely dip below freezing, we had several days where the thermometer never rose above freezing. Nonetheless, it was clear and sunny and beautiful, and I managed to explore and capture some fun photographs – of a beautiful sunset and some of the island wildlife. Check out the gallery!

Sunset from Captain Sam’s Spit at the western end of Kiawah Island.