On Thursday the 27th, which is Thanksgiving Day here in the states, we woke up to this. Winter came overnight, even though we had just been enjoying 60 degree temps.
6 to 12 inches of heavy, sticky, wet snow coated everything.
The old dead tree that the great blue heron sits in was frosted with snow. There won’t be any herons sitting it in for a while now, though there was one here at this time last year.
Every surface, be it vertical, horizontal, or diagonal seemed to be covered in snow. Branches drooped with the weight of it and many that couldn’t take it broke off and fell to the ground, taking electrical and telephone wires with them.
Trees that still had leaves like oak and beech carried a lot of weight.
This beech bud reveals why there was so much weight on the branches. Not just snow but ice added to their burden. The storm started as rain which immediately froze solid on any surface cold enough. Then, after the snow had fallen on top of the ice the storm ended in rain, coating all of the fresh fallen snow in another layer of ice.
One trail that I followed ended in a dead end. Birch trees and white pine limbs had been bent to the ground by the weight of it all and closed the trail. Birches are very elastic trees so once the sun and wind have removed all of the ice and snow most of them will slowly straighten right back up again and in a short while you won’t know they had ever been bent. I could have picked my way through and around this obstacle but I didn’t feel like having several inches of snow fall down into my coat, so I turned around.
Some bent birches made tunnels over the roads.
The great thing about having so many bent birches was that I could now get a look at all the lichens that grew in their tops, like this bright green foliose example.
It’s not hard to guess where a term like “winter wonderland” came from when you gaze out over a scene like this. Though this storm was destructive, it was also very beautiful.
Every hill surrounding Keene had turned white overnight.
The Ashuelot River hasn’t frozen yet but there aren’t any Canada geese at one of their favorite spots in Swanzey this year. I would think if they were around they would be in the water where it’s warmer.
The Ashuelot River in the northern part of Keene is always beautiful after a storm like this one, so I always go there to see it when I can.
Though it created some beautiful scenery this storm also knocked out power to over 200,000 people; the 4th largest power outage in state history. Of course this meant they couldn’t cook their traditional Thanksgiving family meal and some even had to leave their homes and stay in warming shelters due to lack of heat. Power crews came from Chicago, Tennessee, Canada, and from all over New England to help and the big trucks were something quite different for people to be thankful for on a day that is almost always snow free. The weather people claim that we’ll see temperatures into the mid to high 40s by mid-week, so all of this will most likely melt away into memory.
There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ~William Sharp
I hope everyone had a warm and safe Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping in.