Icy river

Beautiful patterns.

Last weekend was very cold, well below zero, and the river’s surface became even more solid. The cracks and fissures of a week earlier healed into sinuous patterns, which I found to be an interesting photographic subject – especially at the shoulders of daylight.

Ice and patterns on the river in front of our house.

Twice on Sunday I saw skaters – traveling in pairs, some wearing nordic skates and carrying safety poles, and some (like the teen below) wearing hockey skates and using ski poles for support – enjoying the opportunity to skate for kilometers upon kilometers.

A skater travels down the center of the river in front of our house, late one afternoon.

Holts Ledge on a frigid day

Sometimes the best views are the smallest.

Today woke with frigid temperatures: -10ºF (-23ºC), which was certainly not inspiring me to get outdoors. But it was a beautifully clear and sunny day, and by mid-afternoon the temperature had risen twenty degrees. So a friend and I climbed nearby Holts Ledge – a hill in Lyme on which the Dartmouth Skiway is located. The snow squeaked under our feet and the stream crossings were smooth and icy. We had a fine view from the top, yes, but my favorite view was a close-up look at the frost feathers atop a puddle of ice.

View from Holts Ledge.
Frost feathers on an ice puddle, Appalachian Trail, Holts Ledge.

Roof snow sliders

So cool.

Last winter I posted a couple of times about a cool phenomenon, when snow settles onto our metal roof and slides, very slow, over days, toward the edge. In the right conditions, the snow bonds together into a sheet and, despite sliding over the edge of the roof, stays connected as a sheet. Yesterday I awoke to see these impressive sheets hanging outside my bedroom window, each at least two feet long.

I opened a window, and reached out to touch them. They were soft, fragile, and slightly wet, despite the 20ºF morning temperature. It had been warm (above freezing) the afternoon before, allowing them to slide slowly off the roof, but the falling evening temperatures trapped them in this frozen form.

Some time later that morning they fell off, as the temperatures warmed and a windy cold front arrived. This morning I see their impressions in the snow where it thinly covers the deck below.

Blueberry Mountain

It snowed yesterday – just a couple of inches – and today broke sunny and clear. So I met a few friends for a climb of Blueberry Mountain, a small peak just to the west of Mount Moosilauke. It’s not tall, or with a grand summit, nor does it have expansive views, but it’s a fine place to be on a sunny winter’s day.

The sun bursts through the snowy forest.
Ken, David, Kathy, and Dave on summit of Blueberry Mountain.

This is the same trail, the same peak, we visited on New Year’s Day 2021.

Kathy, David, and Ken descending Blueberry Mountain.

There were only a few inches of snow atop the rocky trail, but some fine views to the west as we descended toward the sunset.

Snow crystals on a puddle of ice.

Happy new year!

Time to head home.

After two weeks with family here in Kiawah Island in South Carolina, it’s time to head home. We’ve had beautiful weather, allowing time to explore the sands and lagoons of this beautiful island. I’ve added to the gallery more photos of birds and scenery. It was foggy on the beach at sunrise this morning, so I’ll share this photo from Christmas morning.

Christmas Sunrise at Kiawah.

Foggy morning

Fog at sunrise.

Kiawah Island has been sunny and warm every day, but one consequence is the dense fog that settled over the island this morning. I was out on the beach at sunrise, but it was invisible. After a long walk I found driftwood to provide some foreground interest, just as a jogger passed by.

Driftwood on the Kiawah beach.

South Carolina

From the mountains to the sea.

From the mountains of Switzerland to the beaches of South Carolina… we are here at Kiawah Island for two weeks. On the first morning I enjoyed sunrise on the beach… and in the afternoon, some bird watching near the wetlands of Cinder Creek.

A red-shouldered hawk near Cinder Creek, Kiawah.

Skiing Zermatt

Glorious scenery, fabulous weather.

Three days of skiing in Zermatt, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and in perfect weather. Sunshine, no wind, temps around the freezing point. Good snow conditions. 40 open lifts, 211 kilometers of open slopes. No crowds, no lines. The Matterhorn in view nearly all the time, flanked by incredible snow-covered peaks and dripping with ancient glaciers. It doesn’t get much better than this. Read on, and check the photo gallery!

The Matterhorn, seen late afternoon from the ski slopes at Zermatt.
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Zermatt

It’s hard to beat this scenery.

I’ve never been anywhere with mountain scenery as stunning as in Zermatt. When we were first here, two years ago, it was snowing hard and I feared we’d leave without a glimpse of the Matterhorn. But it made an appearance later that day, and the next day was brilliantly beautiful. Today we are back, and the results are just as incredible. Read on.

A view of the Matterhorn from the high ski slopes; Zermatt is deep in the valley where you see brown cliffs.
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