Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 21, 2010

The cold weather continues to bring winter closer, and with short days, the full moon set this week early in the morning.  This is a "blue moon" because it is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons, a relatively rare event.  Full moons this fall occurred on September 23, October 23, and will happen again on Dec 21, just before the winter solstice, thus fitting in four full moons between the equinox and the solstice.
Blue Moon Setting

Lake Wicwas north of Chemung Road
Last week ice was forming only in the most protected areas, but by this week there was ice in some of the smallest coves - the cove right beside Chemung Road had a skim of ice by Sunday morning.

Signs of the coming ski season are also visible.  From the White Mountain Ledge in the Hamlin area one can see the ski trails on Waterville Valley turning white.  In fact, if you look carefully you can make out the clouds of snow coming from the snow-making guns at the top of the Sunnyside Lift.  The curve of white is the top of the trail "True Grit" going down to the right and "Oblivion" down to the left.  With binoculars you can see the summit lift buildings, as well as the radio towers near the top of the High Country Lift on the summit to the left.  Mount Osceola is behind and to the right.
Mt. Tecumseh from the White Mountain Ledge

We saw more signs of rabbits around Lake Wicwas, (much to Linda's dismay).  This branch shows the tell-tale nibbling of a rabbit, cut clean at 45 degree angle, looking like it was cut by shears.  Deer make a more ragged cut, as they don't have upper and lower incisors to make a clean cut, so they tear and pull at the branches, leaving them ragged.
Rabbit Damage

On an afternoon walk I saw this large glacial erratic with a beautiful, healthy crop of lichen growing on its northwestern side.  If you're ever lost in the woods, this is supposed to be edible and somewhat nutritious.  I'm told is best to boil it to soften in up.
Glacial Erratic with Lichen

I haven't seen or heard any loons for a couple of weeks now, so they may have flown off for the winter.

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