Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2, 2014

Yesterday was the first day of meteorological spring and it was anything but spring-like:  the morning low was 5 degrees below zero!  At least the winds let up a bit, and it did warm up during the day so it wasn't too frigid as the day went on.  The news reported that Concord had three feet of snow in the month of February alone, and it isn't going away soon, as the forecast is for another cold snap to assault us this week with lows in the negative numbers and highs not getting above freezing. 

At least the polar vortex can't alter the planet in its orbit.  Weather can't change the fact that the sun is higher in the sky and setting farther to the west.  There was a whisper of spring in the sunset on the first day of March.
Sunset over Wicwas on March 1

The second day of March was much better than the first, and a Red Fox was enjoying the warmer temperatures and brighter morning.  At 7:30am a fox came off one shore of the cove, but then stoped and stared at the house, as it quickly detected our presence.  It immediately bolted across the cove at a high-speed gallop, stopping about 3/4 of the way to glance back at us.  It then took a somewhat more leisurely trot to the far shore, stopping to look again upon reaching the shoreline.  It hopped up the bank and sat down under a hemlock branch to rest and watch some more.  After a short respite it wound its way up the hill, checking out all the holes around the trees, looking for a warm breakfast of squirrel or mouse. 
Photo from a Previous Fox Sighting on Lake Wicwas

The weekend's adventures included an excursion on Arbutus Hill, complete with good friends and knowledgeable tour guides! 
Photo courtesy of Mary K.

From the high point-of-land we enjoyed good views to the north and east thanks to the hard work of the foresters.
Red Hill, the Squam Range, and the white tip of Chocorua (if you look hard) from the Arbutus Hill Trail

The crusty snow precluded much tracking, but we did see the signs of a Pileated Woodpecker working on ridding a white pine of carpenter ants in its wood.

It had been working on the tree for a while, including a little excavating since the most recent snow.

I checked the ice thickness on Lake Wicwas today - 22 inches thick in our part of the lake.  Boating looks to be a long ways off....

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