Posts Tagged ‘Winter Scenery’

1. Backyard

There’s a high pressure system sitting and spinning in Canada that’s dragging down bitter cold air and one snowstorm after another, sometimes as many as three in a single week. With nothing but cold weather between the storms the snow doesn’t melt but instead just builds up. I tried taking a photo of the trees in my backyard during one storm. Judging by the blurry spot on the right one of the flakes landed on my lens, but I didn’t see it until just now. I never have great luck taking photos when it’s snowing but I wanted to try to show you what it was like.

2. Snow Depth

I didn’t realize I had cropped this photo so the yardstick said “the finest pain” but it fit so I left it that way. Actually, I don’t know if I could call the pains I have from shoveling my roof “the finest,” but they’re right up there in the top five. If I have to shovel it once more they might make it to number one.

The snow had settled some when I took this shot in my back yard and the spot was in a hemlock shadow, so it’s not entirely accurate.  I think 24 inches is closer to reality, but I was too worn out to wade through anymore knee deep snow that day.

3. Evergreens

Evergreens always look nice when they’ve been frosted by show, especially when they’re not in my yard and I don’t have to shovel the frosting.

 4. Bent Birches

It’s been so cold that the snow has been very light, dry and powdery, but the heavy wet snow that we had in November on Thanksgiving eve bent many of the birches. Though most of them stood right back up again there are some that didn’t, and I’m curious to see what will become of them. I wonder if they’ll just grow on in their bent state or if they’ll die.  I’m guessing that they won’t last long.

5. Beech and Oak Leaves

The beech and oak leaves add such beautiful colors to the winter woods, especially when the sun breaks through the clouds.

6. Ashuelot

You know it’s cold when you see the Ashuelot River frozen from bank to bank in this spot in Swanzey. I’ve only seen it happen twice; last year and this year. Both winters had extended periods of zero degrees F or below at night.

7. River View

You would think that the farther north you went the more likely a river would be to freeze over but the strength of the current plays a part in it as well. In this spot north of Keene, I’ve never seen it freeze over completely so I’m guessing that the current must be quite strong.

8. Roadside Icicles

There’s no problem with water freezing on the ledges along the side of this highway. I’m guessing that it must be close to 100 feet from the top of the hill, so these are some of the longest icicles that I’ve seen.

9. Roadside Icicles

They’re bigger than tree trunks and have a blueish tint. I don’t want to be anywhere near them when the temperature starts rising.

10. Ice Fishing Hut

The bright sunshine can be deceiving. It was bitter cold here this day with the wind coming hard across the pond so I took a couple of quick shots and jumped back into my truck. The ice fishermen were all huddled in their huts and I didn’t blame them.

11. Dim Sun

There are a few photos of sunny days in this post but most of our days have looked more like this, with the sun trying but not quite able to burn through.  There was actually snow falling when I took this, in spite of what the sun was doing.

12. Monadnock

I went to get a closer look at Mount Monadnock on one sunny day because, though it’s easily seen from Keene, I don’t get to see it up close that often. I grew up in the shadow of this mountain and it’s good to know that, no matter where you are in this part of the state, all you have to do is look over your shoulder and there it is, like an old friend.

13. Monadnock

I’ll never forget climbing up there in mid-April one year through waist deep snow. It must be shoulder deep right now so I think I’ll just stay down here and admire it. The snow might make it harder to climb but it also makes it more beautiful to see.

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” ~A.A. Milne

Thanks for coming by.

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1. Pond View

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.

2. Snowy Cattails

6 to 12 inches of heavy, sticky, wet snow coated everything.

3. Blue Heron Tree

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.

4. Snowy Trail-2

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.

5. Beech Foliage

Trees that still had leaves like oak and beech carried a lot of weight.

6. Beech Bud

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.

7. Blocked Trail

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.

8. Bent Birch

Some bent birches made tunnels over the roads.

9. Snowy Lichen

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.

10. Snowy Stream

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.

11. Snowy Hillside

Every hill surrounding Keene had turned white overnight.

12. Ashuelot River

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.

13. Upper Ashuelot

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.


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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

Thanks for stopping in.

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