Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

One week after the peaceful tranquility of my kayak trip last Saturday, Lake Wicwas gave me the polar opposite today - and "polar" is appropriate, since that's where the weather came from!  Saturday was merely cold, starting off with a nice sunrise in the morning.

A Couple of Goldfinches Enjoying the Sunrise over Lake Wicwas

But the cold hit hard on Sunday.  A bit of snow came over night with the front, making it look a bit wintry around the lake.

It's a good thing Wicwas is too small to stimulate lake effect snow (upstate New York got two feet of lake effect snow), as Sunday was brutal: 35 mile per hour winds, temperatures in the teens, and wind chills in the low single digits.  It wouldn't actually seem all that bad in January, but this is November! 

The winds were blowing up white caps out on the lake.
November White Cap on Lake Wicwas

Along the shore line, with the ground frozen, the waves and wind blew the lake up onto rocks, trees, and branches along the shore, glazing them with a layer of ice.
Icicles Formed by Blowing Water

There was a hemlock tree with low-hanging branches that dipped into the lake when the wind bent it over;  each time the branch came up it had another layer of ice added to it.  It looked like it had dipped candles hanging from the branches - it was the same process, where the container of liquid is above the freezing point, while the air is below it.

The wind was blowing straight at the dam, where the ice was piling up.

Not much of surprise that I didn't see any wildlife this week, though they are out and about, as I found deer and fox tracks in the fresh snow.  They have to eat no matter how cold it is.

It has been a meager fall for seeing migratory birds - I have seen none of the interesting birds that usually visit Lake Wicwas in the fall:  no Mergansers, Ring Neck Ducks, or Buffleheads.  It's likely they were here, just that I missed seeing them.  I saw only black ducks and a few wood ducks.  And with the long range weather forecast, the lake may be freezing over sooner than usual. 

I saw one more sign of winter, and a sure signal that ski season is here:  Looking to the north from the hills behind the lake, the white arc formed by the Oblivion and True Grit ski trails on Mt Tecumseh (Waterville Valley Ski Area) is clearly visible.
Looking North to Mt. Tecumseh

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