Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22, 2017

This was a week for winter adventure as New England gave us the opportunity to enjoy just about every possible outdoor winter activity.  Early in the week the ice brought lots of skaters onto the lake, including some creative types taking advantage of smooth ice and warm winds.

Solid ice also means winter fishing, and there were lots of anglers out trying their luck.
Ice fishing on Lake Wicwas

This group had caught several perch and a couple of good size bass.

Then came the snow, which not only brought out the skiers, but also draped the lake in winter splendor again.

Mercier Rd after a storm

The morning of the snowfall I skied around the lake, and once again was flummoxed by what I saw out there.  Out in the middle, well, maybe 30 yards from shore, as I skied along, a spot on the snow caught my eye.  A thought flashed through my mind, and I had to go back to look again.  Sure enough:
I don't make this stuff up.

There was a spider crawling along the surface of the new snow.  I don't even know where to begin to think this guy came from.

The day after the snow fell I took a long ski in a conservation area I hadn't visited before, Chapman Sanctuary in Sandwich.  Nestled at the base of Mt. Israel and Sandwich Mountain, the sanctuary includes 10 miles of trails through woods, fields, and along old logging roads. 

Sandwich Mountain from Chapman Sanctuary
They do groom the trails, though they haven't needed to yet this year, and I got to break some 12 km of fresh tracks. 
First tracks the whole day

If you go there to ski, just be aware there are frequent stream crossings, all of which were open on this warm winter day. 

One trail leads down to, and along, the Cold River.
The aptly named Cold River

The caretakers do much to protect and encourage wildlife on the property - I will visit again in the summer to walk the trails and look for birds and other wildlife. 

Earlier in the week I took a hike up Mt. Roberts in the Ossipee Mountains on a gorgeous, sunny and calm day.
A colbalt blue sky above the ridge on Mount Roberts

This summit rewards hikers with views of the White Mountains, including Mount Washington.
A snow-capped Mt. Washington

The moose must also appreciate the view, as I found their calling cards right at the very summit.
Moose droppings on the summit
Also scat of fisher a ways down the trail.
Fisher scat in the middle of the trail at about 2500' elevation

Back in Meredith, activity is picking up on the Big Lake as the ice works it way across Meredith Bay.
This is living a little too close to the edge for me

They are starting to prepare for the Pond Hockey Classic on Feb 3rd-5th, clearing the ice for the rinks.
Removing the snow for the Pond Hockey tournament

I hope the warm weather forecast for the coming week doesn't affect the events on Winnipesaukee;  open spots have starting forming around the edges of Lake Wicwas.

Holes in the ice shouldn't be this large in January

The warm weather might not be great for future winter activities, but it was nice to see people taking advantage of it at the moment.  And it was wasn't just people - here a chick-a-dee was enjoying the good weather and the feeder, having its own winter adventures this week.
A chick-a-dee escapes with a sunflower seed

I'm hoping old man winter returns with enough force to keep our winter activities going for at least one more month!

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