Wow, it's getting cold around here. After a beautiful treat of Christmas snow on Monday, the mercury took a plunge and hasn't recovered yet. The overnight lows weren't too remarkable - the lowest being 9.2 degrees below zero - but even with full sun things just aren't heating up much during the day. On Thursday the high was 2.1 degrees, an increase of only 6 degrees from that morning's low.
|Frosty windows in the morning|
|A cold walk in the afternoon|
And it's been like this for a week now, which is hard on our furred and feathered friends. Birds have to consume large amounts of calories every day, as in this kind of weather they can lose up to ten percent of their body weight in a single night. Mammals can hide out for a day or two but after that they also have to get out to find something to eat. It's been cold enough that water vapor coming up from the red squirrel's hidey-holes is condensing and freezing into ice crystals.
|A entrance to a red squirrel nest|
|Moisture crystallizes instantly upon leaving the hole|
And there's no indication it's going to melt any time soon.
Being the final day of 2017 I thought I'd look at back at some of the more memorable moments around the lakes this year - here are a few of my favorite things (a la Julie Andrews) from our last trip around the sun.
|Tamworth Ice Harvest and Winter Festival: February 5, 2017|
|The Full Snow Moon rises over Wicwas: February 12, 2017|
|A bobcat stalks its prey: February 19, 2017|
|The prey in a late March snow storm: March 26, 2017|
|The start of a very busy year for beavers: April 13, 2017|
|Songbirds arrive: May 14, 2017|
|And the frogs follow quickly: May 21, 2017|
|Spring flowers add their sparkle|
|Herons in the Rookery grow quickly: June 30, 2017|
|The loons finally nest: July 9, 2017|
|Lightning strikes Lake Wicwas: July 23, 2017 (Photo by Deborah Crowley)|
|The sweet but short life of Tardy: August 6, 2017|
|Summer vacations on the lake are the best!|
|Summer comes to an end: October 15 2017|
|And the cycle begins again: December 3, 2017|