Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24, 2013

Lake Wicwas has been enjoying a good weather pattern the last few weeks, with storms coming at least once a week.  Several have had nice snowfall, although there have been scattered days of warm weather which has reduced the base a bit.  This weekend another moderate storm came through, dropping 6 to 8 inches of snow from mid-day Saturday to Sunday evening, and it's still snowing lightly. 

This snow was a much heavier with a lot more water content which will have much more staying power and will provide a good base.  Hopefully this will permit the Laconia Dog Sled races to be held next weekend - they have been postponed twice.  Keep an eye on their website ( to see if they will be held on March 1-3 per the latest plan.

With calm winds the snow stuck to the trees providing a nice sweet frosting

and bowed down the pine branches.

It's February in the Lakes Region.

All winter we've been watching the red squirrels.  They must have had a good summer, as there is a very healthy population;  yesterday there were six of them out sharing the yard.  They build pathways and tunnels under the snow so they can travel safely as they search for dropped seeds.  It's fun to watch them disappear under the snow then pop up a few yards away. 

They also spend a lot time scanning the horizon for predators, making sure the coast is clear before they eat.

Looking for Trouble

Snack Time!

And this is why:
Cooper's Hawk

Today a Cooper's Hawk flew down to see if it could catch one of these tasty morsels for its lunch.  It landed under the deck right next to one of the tunnel networks and sat motionless, waiting.

Of course, there were no birds or squirrels to be seen for a while.  But eventually one of them popped up out of hole, not seeing the raptor with its great camouflage - undoubtedly that's why the hawk landed under the deck where there was no snow.  But this bird was impatient, and went after the squirrel before it traveled two feet from the hole, and it easily scampered back under the snow, leaving the hungry bird to review its tactics.
A missed Opportunity

The hawk realized it had lost its opportunity of surprise and soon flew off for other hunting grounds. 

So life goes on in winter at Lake Wicwas.

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