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Posts Tagged ‘Snow Scenes’

1. Snowy Heron Tree

Though the January thaw was a week long, welcome relief from the biting cold it seemed to pass as quickly as an October afternoon. Hot on its heels came a snowstorm that the weather people told us wouldn’t be anything more than a dusting, but turned out to be several inches of wet, heavy snow that stuck to every branch and twig. The tree in the distance is the one that great blue herons sit in, but even though one of them stayed until it snowed this year, I haven’t seen him or his kinfolk in over a month.  I know if I had wings I’d be heading to someplace a little warmer.

2. Snowy Trail

I was up before the sun came over the eastern hills, wanting to make every minute count because there was a strong wind forecast for that afternoon and I knew would it blow all of the snow off the trees. I should have stayed in bed though, because there was no sunshine to be seen and the first few photos I took were dark enough to be unusable. Disappointed, I returned home and waited impatiently for the sun to make an appearance. In the end it decided to take the day off, but the skies finally brightened just enough to get a few shots in.

 3. Snowy Ashuelot Swanzey

I thought I’d visit some of my favorite places along the Ashuelot River, starting south of Keene in Swanzey and ending north of Keene in Surry. As can be seen in this photo, the January thaw had stripped it of any hint of ice.

4. Snowy Ashuelot Keene

This view is from a bridge in the northern part of Keene. It was so quiet here I could hear the slight whispering ripples of the Ashuelot against its banks.  I’ve always thought that winter was so quiet because the snow reflected sound waves and bounced them back where they came from but scientists say that it’s just the opposite-that pores in the snow actually absorb sound waves. If you would like to learn more about snow acoustics you can visit the scientists who make up the Snow Interest Group by clicking here.

 5. Mini Covered Bridge

This covered bridge crosses the Ashuelot River as it winds its way through a local golf course and was built for golf carts. It’s only about one half the size of a standard bridge, but it’s impossible to see that in a photo.

 6. Snowy Field 

Quite often this is a good place to see an example of how even bare trees can block snowfall, but not on this day. The prevailing winds are from the right side (north) in this spot and often the ground on the left side of the line of maple trees and stone walls is almost bare.

7. Snowy Hillside 3

There was snow on every tree as far as the eye could see, but by midafternoon the wind had blown most of it away.

I’m sorry that many of these photos have such a bluish cast to them, but that’s just the kind of day it was and no amount of fiddling with the camera would change it. In her blog Breaking New Ground in Zone 6 Annie explained that the blue cast is “due to the density and heaviness of the wet snow. Snow is colorless. Dry, fluffy snow contains more air bubbles to reflect light out, thus looking whiter. The heavy, wet snows absorb more red light and the more red that is absorbed, the bluer the snow.” I don’t know about you, but that’s something I’ve been wondering about for years and I was glad that Annie explained it.

 8. Snowy Ashuelot Surry

In Surry the snow on the trees was so heavy the Ashuelot disappeared beneath them.

 9. Snowy Ashuelot Surry 2 

No matter what angle you viewed it from, the snowy trees almost completely obscured the river. People who have never lived in or visited New England might think scenes like this are common here, but they really aren’t. Many times the snow is quite dry and, though it sits on tree branches it doesn’t stick to them, and it’s that stickiness that seems to make the difference in how beautiful the scenery becomes.  I’d guess that we only see one or two storms each season when everything comes together in just the right way to create scenes like this.

10. Snowy Ashuelot Keene 2

It wasn’t long after this shot of the river that the wind started gusting hard, and it didn’t take long for it to spoil views like this one.  It was a brief but beautiful outing.

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

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1. Snowy Trail

Last Sunday morning I woke up to about 8 inches of fresh, powdery snow. It was so light and dry that it was easy to walk through but if we get much more I’m going to have to start wearing snowshoes.  I’m hoping that some of the trails I want to visit today have already been packed down by previous hikers.

2. Snowy Forest

Despite how dry the snow was it covered everything as if it were the heavy, wet variety. The local newspaper said that this year and 2003 rank as the top years for earliest snowfall since 1960. Historically, early snowfalls mean snowier winters in this part of the country.

 3. Snowy Stream

The local stream was starting to freeze over. Since this photo was taken we’ve seen 10 degree below zero temperatures, so it has probably frozen over completely now.

 4. GBH in Snow 

This great blue heron seemed to want very badly for me to believe he was just another clump of grass, but the wind blew away his cover and revealed his hiding place.  As is often the case when I see birds here, I didn’t have my tripod.

 5. GBH in Snow

As I watched he kind of lurched across the ice toward what little open water is left.

 6. GBH in Snow

And after slowly folding one leg up into his feathers there he stood, as if contemplating his upcoming dip into the icy water to look for breakfast. You can learn a lot about patience by watching herons. I think this one might be a juvenile because of the black and white feathers on the top and the leading edge of his wing.

7. GBH Tracks in Snow

I noticed by the big footprints that he had also walked from the frozen pond up onto the road before I got there. He was probably hoping to warm his toes. I didn’t know until last week that herons would put up with snow, but since then I’ve heard that they will hunt the fields for mice and voles in the winter and jerry from the Quiet Solo Pursuits blog says he sees them in Michigan year round. I guess if they can stand a Michigan winter they can stand just about anything! I’ve even seen photos of them with ice on their feathers. It’s amazing what nature will teach us if we just take the time to pay attention.

 8. Snowy Ashuelot

It’s always hard to tell if the Ashuelot River will freeze over in this spot in Swanzey. It hasn’t for at least four years now, but even though it stays open I think it might be too deep here for herons to fish in.

9. Geese on Ice

Except for a couple of sentries keeping watch over both land and water, all the Canada geese on the river were sleeping.

 10. Bird Corn 

This ear of corn was low enough on the stalk so geese could have reached it, and I wondered if they had. I can’t think of another bird except a turkey that would have enough strength to open an ear of corn. It might have been a hungry squirrel too.

 11. Snowy Trees 

By 3:30 in the afternoon the sun was low in the sky and trying to break through the clouds, but it never really made it. It is the time of long nights and I think this snow is here to stay for a while.

12. Golden Stream

Before I left the wetland the sun finally broke through just enough to turn this small stream to gold. This happens frequently enough but I usually see it out of the corner of my eye as I’m driving by. Seeing it up close is one of life’s simple pleasures because for some unknown reason, it always makes me happy.

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.  ~Vista M. Kelly

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