The challenges and rewards are greatest where two systems meet.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Edge of Winter: January 6, 2012

As a friend stated: "You don't look a day over 65!" -- and that's the truth today, January 6, 2012.

I'm starting this blog with photos from November 2011, not long after a snowstorm had dumped over 16 inches on us. We thought that snow might stay until Spring, but it didn't.

First, on the Pemigewasset River I saw these Canada Geese hanging out on the Jenness' pasture.
Next, on Nov. 6, I kayaked Hermit Lake and spotted this painted turtle warming itself in the sun. This is the latest in the year I have ever seen a reptile in New Hampshire outside and on the water.
December:  The new green house still produces greens even though we've had three nights of temperatures in the single numbers (Farenheit).

We've had some unusual birds during our unusual (warm, snowless) December. This goldfinch has strange coloration, more like summer than winter.
Then, there's the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. It's not a great name, seeing there isn't one red feather on its belly.  These woodpeckers migrate north now with our warmer winter temperatures.

Gret and I spent New Years Eve at home with a small bonfire in the upper garden. Follow the spark:
Here's the garden the day after.
The New Year is time to throw out some of the useless "stuff", like these skis I broke on the summit of Mt. Cardigan in 1988 while skiing with David Roth.  He had Bush Whacker skis.  I used duct tape, the best thing to have in an emergency like this.

The Christmas bird count was January 2. The ground was basically bare and frozen. Our biggest surprise was a cut worm crawling across the ice on the driveway at the fish hatchery.
As for the birds, it was an average year for our count. Our favorites were these Hooded Mergansers on Calley Pond in Sanbornton.

Gretchen and I spent my "65th" birthday up north, after my eye appointment.  We had a fun day at the Basin at Franconia Notch, then on to the bookstore and diner in Littleton.  Luckily we missed the politicians stumping for next week's primary.
What's interesting for me is to look at last year's records at this time.  Once again we had very light snow cover, yet lots of water in the ground. 

All species strive to survive and adapt to the changes in the weather and the environment.  These "rock doves" are doing just that on a frigid January day.