Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23, 2011

More snow and more cold weather is keeping Lake Wicwas in the deep freeze.  Several inches of snow fell on Tuesday, but unfortunately we also had some freezing rain mixed in which put a frozen crust on top of the new snow.  But it was followed up with a bit more snow, and then several more inches on Thursday night into Friday, and this last storm was all cold, dry powder, leaving a great surface for weekend snow sports, at least for humans.  This was the view northeast from the White Mountain Ledge on Saturday; Mount Chocorua is just visible on the far left.
Looking Northeast from the White Mountain Ledge
Deer Signs on Arbutus Hill
The wildlife isn't as thrilled, as indicated by the lack of tracks around the lake.  The deer in particular have a hard time moving around in deep snow, hindered even more with a sharp crust in the middle of the snow pack.  I took a ski in the Hamlin area to both the White Mountain Ledge and along the Arbutus Hill View trail, and saw only a few fox tracks up near the Red Trail along the ridge, and some deer tracks on Arbutus Hill.  The deer had been by just a few hours before, as the tracks and scat were on top of the previous day's snow.

There were also signs of browse, including scrapes on these birch trees, with scrapings well above my head indicating a fairly good size deer.  (Linda likes the colors of new snow under the tree cover on a bright, cold day!)
Deer Browse
Barbara R. Smyth Trail

The bright blue sky and brilliant sun made for another fabulous day; I captured this scene along the Barbara R. Smyth trail where deciduous tress and the recent  logging let in abundant sunshine.

Today I took a ski on the lake; it's been cold enough that the air vents on the beaver lodges haven't even thawed out.  Again, not many tracks, but the cold didn't stop this mouse from making his rounds up and over this lodge.
Mouse Tracks on a Beaver Lodge
After investigating a hole in the lodge it traveled all the way across the ice to far shore, carving a drunken path on its way.  But it made it to the trees before an owl saw it.

Blue Jay Landing Site

Here's an interesting pattern left by a Blue Jay landing in the light snow, with its individual feathers leaving their own imprint.

If you haven't seen the article in the Weirs Times about the Wicwas Lake Grange, you can find it here:  Weirs Times 20 January 2011 Edition.  It has some nice history about the Grange as well as the local area.  We are fortunate to still have this Grange which is named after the lake, as many have closed.  Both the Winnepesaukee Grange in Meredith Village and the Garnet Hill Grange in Center Harbor have closed, merging with the Wicwas Grange.

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