Winters in Maine are long. This winter has been surprisingly mild, even to the point of giving us 50°F days. But one swallow does not make a summer. Friday night on a regular shopping trip to Portland, we were hit by a surprise snow storm. On Saturday, the day time temperature fell to 9ºF, with strong winds that made those temperature even more dangerous. As you have seen, we were hit by a blizzard this Tuesday. Click on the image for a larger view.
Last week ended in heavy fog. Warm spring air arrived early this year. Once it washes over the cold snow pack, a dense fog can remain in the area an entire day. This photograph was taken near sunset. These trees are slowly advancing into our blackberry field in the distance. Click on the image for a larger view.
We have had about 4 ft. of snow in three storms in about the space of a week. This photograph is from the latest storm on Thursday. We are having a hard time finding a place to throw it—our snow banks along our driveway are approaching 6 ft. in height. Yes, it is pretty, we are just too tired from shoveling to enjoy it. Click on the image for a larger view.
I explored our land this weekend. We have had unusual amounts of rain, freezing rain, and sleet this winter. The snow pack is hard and slippery–normally when I wear snowshoes, it is so I don’t sink too far into the snow, but now I just need the crampons on the shoes to stop from slipping.
Our blackberry field is like an abstract painting of hard black strokes on a brilliant white canvas. This is such a stark transformation from what this field looks like in the summer. Click on the image for a larger view.
It was a dark, snowy weekend. We had our usual visitors to our bird feeder: chickadees, junco, mourning doves, titmice, cardinals, and goldfinches. We usually do not have blue jays at our feeders, even though they are a common bird in Maine. These intelligent birds—they are a member of the crow family—have striking plumage in any season. If they were not so common, they would attract bird watchers from around the world. Click on the image for a larger view.
I spent the Wednesday walking in the shadows of the moon. The brilliant white of the snowpack makes traveling through the forest under a full moon magical. The air is clean and crisp, and sound seems to disappear into the clear winter sky. The world loses its hard edges. Trees become shadow, and distance and scale illusionary. Click on the image for a larger view.
We had about three inches of snow today. This is the first storm of any significance this season. I went out to walk through our forest and field to enjoy the event. The light is gray like sharpened steel. Snow muffles sound, making the forest silent except for the laughter of the neighborhood children playing outside. Click on the image for a larger view.
We woke this morning to the first snow of winter. Nothing bad, just a thin layer of crusty ice. The weather has been so mild and warm this year that the snow was a not so gentle reminder the season is changing. One of our blackberry briers is in the foreground. It looked very different in August. Click on the image for a larger view.
The forest transitions at its own pace. Microclimates create individual schedules for areas throughout our forest. The beech and oak are the last to lose their leaves, although the beach will not drop their foliage until they are ready to renew it in the spring. Click on the image for a larger view.