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Posts Tagged ‘Weather’

1. Icy Roadside Shrubs

I felt like seeing the world from up above recently so I decided to climb Pitcher Mountain in Stoddard. We’d had rain all day the day before but when I left Keene everything was sunny and dry. Stoddard is north of Keene and the weather had obviously been different there. As the bushes along the roadsides showed, the rain froze on contact.

2. Trail

The trail was covered in loud, crunchy snow so sneaking up on birds or animals was out of the question.

3. Icy Bush

If there is anything in the way of weather that New Englanders dread more than freezing rain, I don’t know what it is. Nothing can bring down trees and cut power like an ice storm, but neither is any other kind of weather quite as beautiful.

4. Ice Covered Pine Needles

Ice covered everything and limbs drooped over the trail.

 5. Icy Bud

It seemed to have frozen quickly.

6. Birches

The birches had just recovered from being bent under the weight of the Thanksgiving eve snowstorm, but the ice bent them once again.

7. Monadnock

Mount Monadnock loomed over a crystal forest.

8. Meadow View

There was a lot of ice but little snow. The only real snowstorm we’ve had this season was on Thanksgiving and it has just about all melted in this area.

9. Icy Branches

The ice caught the sunbeams like crystal prisms and flashed blue and gold, but apparently catching that in a photo is difficult. I tried several times and this is as close as I could get to what I was actually seeing.

10. Fire Tower

The fire tower had a few icicles on it but otherwise came through the storm unscathed. When you reach this point you’ve reached the steepest part of the trail. Getting all the way to the top from here was tricky due to the ice coating the rocks, but coming back down was worse because part of it was done by sitting down and sliding. If it wasn’t for the Yak Trax I wore it would have been even more difficult.

11. Ranger Cabin

I noticed that the old fire warden’s cabin is leaning to the left just a bit. I wonder how many more winters it will be able to withstand. The weather can be brutal up here.

12. Icy Blueberry Bush

The view from the top was of a frozen world, with sparkling ice in every direction.

13. Lempster Wind Turbines

I was finally able to get a photo of the wind turbines over in Lempster, New Hampshire. In the past it has always been too hazy to see them.  There are twelve 400 foot tall turbines at the wind farm on Bear Mountain in Lempster and they produce 24 megawatts of electricity. It was windy enough on this day to make me wonder if they might be spinning about as fast as they ever do.

14. Ice Covered Tree

The bright sunshine was deceiving. Up here the 30 mile per hour wind took care of any warmth that the 30 degree temperature might have provided. It was mighty cool but thankfully I’d had sense enough to dress for it.

 15. Icy Blueberry Bush

Dressed for it or not after a while the biting wind gets to your exposed skin, so I didn’t stay long. Climbing a mountain after an ice storm is something I’ve never done before this trip but I would do it again. The beauty of the ice is something I’ll most likely never forget.

It occurs to me now that I have never seen the ice-storm put upon canvas, and have not heard that any painter has tried to do it. I wonder why that is. Is it that paint cannot counterfeit the intense blaze of a sun-flooded jewel? ~Mark Twain

Thanks for coming by.

 

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Last week brought the January thaw that the weathermen promised but it wasn’t wash your car in the driveway weather. Though temperatures reached the 40s for a day or two and snow was melting, the sun was hardly seen. Instead the skies were gray and thick fog occasionally enveloped everything.  One day I decided to drive up and out of the deep bowl that is Keene, New Hampshire. I was hoping that I’d get above the mist and see some sun but instead it got even thicker as the elevation changed so I could barely see the road by the time I reached the top of the hill. There was no escaping it.

1. Sun at Noon

This was taken at lunch time one day. It felt more like late afternoon. The sun tried hard each day but couldn’t burn through the dense fog.

2. Thin Ice Sign

The ice is dangerously thin this year. As you can see by all of the footprints, people aren’t paying attention.

 3. Canada Geese on Ice

The geese aren’t worried about a little thin ice. Geese that come and land on this part of the river are extremely wary for some reason, and fly off at even the hint of someone nearby. I was able to get two quick shots before they took off.  Sorry this one is fuzzy-I was at the limit of my zoom capabilities.

 4. Foggy Mountain

I know that there is a large mountain here somewhere because I’ve climbed it.

5. Foggy Trail

The foggy trail was empty of even sound-not a leaf rustle or bird song was heard. And it was wet-so much so that I was afraid my cameras might get wet, so I turned back.

 6. Rose Hip with a Drip

Everything was dripping in the heavy fog.

 7. Moss Sporangia in Fog

The mosses were loving it.

 8. Orange Witch's Butter

This orange witch’s butter (Tremella mesenterica ) was frozen solid just a while ago, but the warmth and rain plumped it right back up again. It feels and jiggles just like Jell-O.

9. Dried Out Black Jelly Fungus

This is what black witch’s butter looks like when it hasn’t rained for a while.

 10. Black Jelly Fungus

And this is what black witch’s butter (Exidia glandulosa) looks like when it has had plenty of moisture. Both of these examples were on the same alder shrub, but taken at different times.

 11. Bracket Fungi

Bracket fungi don’t seem to mind any weather unless it is hot sunshine.

 12. Mare's Tails

The sun finally came out as always, the temperature shot up to 60 degrees, and the sky was blue again. For a day. Those clouds in the lower half of the picture are called mare’s tails and they usually signal that a storm is brewing. It got murky again the next day and snowed two days later. My color finding software sees mostly Dodger blue (as in the L.A. Dodgers baseball team) in this sky, but also sees dark teal blue, cornflower blue, steel blue and light sky blue. Imagine all of that in a simple blue sky!

It is the memory that enables a person to gather roses in January ~Anonymous

Thanks for coming by.

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Last Saturday we had a little snowfall but then we had temperatures soar into the 60s, so it didn’t last long.

1. Snow Covered Trail

This is what the trails looked like Saturday Morning. There was probably about an inch and a half or maybe two inches in places-just barely enough to cover the ground.

2. Snow Covered Twig

Under the hemlock trees there was just a light dusting.

3. Squirrel Tracks

A squirrel had passed this way.

4. Ice on Pond

5. Snowy Seed Head

 

6. Snowy Evergreen Christmas Fern

Evergreen Christmas ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) lived up to their name. Heavier snow will bury them but they will stay green.

7. Foggy Pond

By Sunday afternoon it was 45 degrees and the melting pond ice was making fog.

8. Mallards

Mallards enjoyed the open water. ..

9. Trail After Snow Meltand the trails were snow free once again. Last year they looked like this all winter long due to a severe lack of snow.

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley

Thanks for stopping in.

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Last Saturday morning I was raking leaves, cutting back perennials, grooming beds, putting away lawn furniture-all the things one would expect a gardener to do in October. We hadn’t even seen a frost here in my yard. By 8:00 pm that night I was shoveling snow that was over my boot tops, which is something I’ve never done in October. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, this is the first time since records began in 1860 that an inch or more of snowfall has been recorded during the month of October. But there I was, 2 months before Christmas on a quiet autumn night, shoveling snow and listening to the frequent snap, whoosh, and thud of big branches falling in the woods that surround my house.

The next morning I was thankful that I hadn’t lost power as over a quarter million others in New Hampshire had. A look out any window told me I’d be repeating the shoveling of last night, and a yardstick told me that 15 inches of snow had fallen. A quick survey of the yard revealed several shrubs flattened by the weight of the snow. I shook the snow off the lilacs, azaleas and Forsythia, but summer bloomers like hydrangea, elderberry and weigela I left alone. Since this is their first year in the ground they will be pruned back quite hard in spring, so a few bent branches now won’t matter.  

The trees along the perimeter of the forest made it through the storm without losing hardly a twig, but I know that deeper into the woods some major branches are waiting for me. The snow is too deep right now, so they will have to wait until spring. The maple in the front yard, full of pumpkin orange leaves Saturday morning, had shed most of them by Sunday afternoon and they looked an even deeper orange against the white snow.

At least we fared better than they did in Central Park in New York; according to the news they had one thousand trees damaged, which is devastating.  A walk around my neighborhood revealed a few bent paper birches, but not much in the way of serious damage. Birches will straighten right up if the snow that pins the top to the ground melts right away, otherwise they may need gentle human intervention and ropes to once again stand straight. I pulled the top of one tree out of the snow and it sprang back quite a bit. In a day or two it should be standing straight up. A drive around town revealed that many neighborhoods weren’t as lucky as mine; I saw some large oak and maple limbs that had broken off one hundred year old trees.

Weather forecasts are something I’m always leery of because they, especially for the first snow storm of the season, always seem to be full of hype. So, when I heard “historic” and “once in a century” about this storm my first thought was that it was just more hype. Wow, was I wrong!

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