Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 31, 2017 - Happy New Year!

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
Proof that it hasn't risen above freezing for days is provided by ice on the trees from the freezing rain event back on December 23rd.

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


Here's wishing everyone a great New Year from Lake Wicwas!

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