First snowfall

The first snow of the season is always special.

I missed the first snowfall of the season. I left town on Tuesday night for a business trip to Chicago, and missed the 2″ snowfall that arrived on Wednesday morning. So today, back at home and waking to a brilliant blue-sky day, I was eager to get outdoors. Most of the snow had melted close to home, but we chose a short hike along the Appalachian Trail to the top of Holts Ledge – home of the Dartmouth Skiway. (Things looked very different when I visited seven weeks ago!) We didn’t have to climb far before reaching an elevation with consistent snowcover. It was shallow, and crunchy from several melt-freeze cycles, but it was a wonderful taste of the winter hikes to come!

Descending the Appalachian Trail on Holts Ledge. Lyme NH.

We paused at the top to enjoy the southward views across the Upper Valley and toward Mounts Cardigan and Ascutney. We then strolled over to view the activity at the top of the Dartmouth Skiway, chatting with two fellows who were tinkering with the snowmaking equipment. Only three weeks to opening day!

Snowmaking coats the trees at the top of Dartmouth Skiway. Holts Ledge.

Halfway down the Appalachian Trail we encountered one of those wondrous effects to be seen this time of year: needle ice, where some mud froze, causing the expanding ice to crystallize and push the mud upward into the air.

Crusty ice spires in the mud along the Appalachian Trail on Holts Ledge.

Snowy farm fields

Black & White photographs of a quiet, snowy morning in Lyme.

This morning I was skiing through a quiet morning snowfall across pristine farm fields in Lyme, New Hampshire, and came across this scene of an antique farm instrument under an apple tree.  Although I had only my iPhone, I thought it might look good in black & white.  I haven’t done black & white photography since my earliest camera – which could only take rolls of black & white film!  So I fiddled a little in Adobe Lightroom and think the result is not too shabby.

An old farm instrument on a farm in Lyme, on a snowy day.An old farm instrument on a farm in Lyme, on a snowy day.