Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

Sorry to talk about the weather, but that's about all that happened around Lake Wicwas this week.
January 4, 2014

Yesterday the temperature dropped to 17 degrees below zero, the coldest we've seen here since 2009.  The low temps have been at or below zero for six days now, but at least we have haven't had a lot of wind to go with it.  An uncommon snow storm event at these temperatures brought us 10 or 12 inches of snow on Friday - incredibly light and fluffy snow, four times less dense than our typical snow according to one report.  That means the amount of precipitation that gave us 12 inches of snow would usually produce only 3 inches.  If you could brave the cold, it made for some awesome skiing - almost like being out west (almost).

It was so light and deep that the cross country skis tunneled down far enough that the ski-tips didn't even disturb the surface of the snow.  But it sure fashioned smooth skiing with some beautiful sights to behold.

The cold mornings and clear air graced us with pristine sunrises hinting of alpenglow.
7:15 am
7:23 am (sunrise was 7:20)
8:04 am

And frosty sunsets that even look cold!
4:39 pm

Sunset is already occurring 15 minutes later than it was in early December, but the sun is just now starting to rise earlier in the day;  overall daylight is eight minutes longer than on the winter solstice.

It was cold enough on Sataurday that the only sign of animal life I saw was one set of fox tracks in the deep snow.  It used my old ski tracks a little bit, and I expect it will be taking advantage of them more now that they are tracked out again.

Today it warmed up 45 degrees from yesterday's low - all the way to 29!  And that brought out a lot more activity.  I saw skiers, and a couple of sets of snowshoe tracks on the lake. 

It's amazing that 27 degrees can seem downright balmy!

I followed someone's ski tracks (TG and HC I expect - thanks!) for a while, which made for much speedier travel than breaking out a new trail. 
Thanks for Setting the Tracks!

The animals were more active as well - I saw weasel scat on the road, and there were now deer tracks in snow, though they travelled on the road quite a bit as well.  And when it's been so cold, I'm always surprised to find wet slush on the ice under the snow.

Next we're onto a quick New England roller coaster ride, with temperatures forecast to rise to 40 degrees on Monday before dropping right back into the single digits. 

I hope you caught a glimpse of the crescent moon on Saturday evening just after sunset - where ever you may have been.  It was fabulous here in Meredith. 

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