To survive the cold of winter, some animals take advantage of protected habitats, such as wooded areas or under a blanket of insulating snow. Ruffed grouse, for example, fly into piles of loose snow and create roosting cavities to rest in when not foraging. Mice and other small mammals remain active in tunnels under the snow. [Read more…] about How Animals Stay Warm In Winter
Icicles, Snow Doughnuts, and Hair Ice
A few winters ago, I snowshoed along a trail that led below a series of cliffs with rows of huge, hanging icicles. These icicles were up to 40 feet long, with colors ranging from blue-green to yellowish-brown. In some spots, the icicles extended from clifftop to base, forming thick columns of ice. This spectacular display was created by water from melting snow and underground seeps dripping off the cliffs, refreezing, and building up over time. Minerals leached out of rock and soil can contribute to the colors of icicles. [Read more…] about Icicles, Snow Doughnuts, and Hair Ice
Avalanche Warning Issued For Adirondack Mountains
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an avalanche warning, advising backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and all outdoor adventurers who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks to be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions.
Several avalanches have been reported in the High Peaks over recent weeks. Forecast weather will exacerbate existing conditions, making them even more prone to sliding. [Read more…] about Avalanche Warning Issued For Adirondack Mountains
Diapause & Insect Winter Inactivity
The unseasonably mild conditions we have been experiencing this winter has been unusual, but is not unprecedented. In the past, there have been numerous bouts of warm weather and limited snowfalls that have produced similar periods when the ground became bare and the temperatures frequently rose above freezing. [Read more…] about Diapause & Insect Winter Inactivity
Historic Snowstorms of Central New York
Central New York is renowned as one of the snowiest regions in the world. In the past, major snowstorms have crippled cities, towns, and farming country for weeks at a time.
From the Lake Ontario port in Oswego to the busy streets of Syracuse and Utica, every community in the region has found themselves buried from brutal snowstorms. [Read more…] about Historic Snowstorms of Central New York
1880s January Weather Reports: Ice Harvest, Cold Weather, Snow
It was a frigid January at Glens Falls in 1883, which was good for the ice men.
“The ice in the river at this point is now twelve inches thick,” The Morning Star reported on January 4th. “Several ice men announced they will commence their annual harvest on Monday.” [Read more…] about 1880s January Weather Reports: Ice Harvest, Cold Weather, Snow
How to Preserve a Snowflake
Wilson Bentley (1865-1931) lived his entire life in Jericho, Vermont, where he developed a passion for snowflakes at an early age.
He started by collecting snowflakes and trying to create detailed drawings of each one, but the snow crystals’ tiny size and the speed at which they melted made this a futile task.
At age 15, with a microscope gifted to him by his mother, Bentley began experimenting with photography as a means of capturing the elusive design of a snowflake. [Read more…] about How to Preserve a Snowflake
The Great Blizzard of March 1888 in Washington County
If, when browsing the antiques shops of Washington County, you should spot an old hat with “March 12-13, 1888” marked inside, there is a story behind it. A story almost not fully told.
“It is unnecessary to speak in detail of the storm,” The Granville Sentinel reported on March 16, 1888. “It has been everywhere and all know its effect.” Then, as if the editor had second thoughts, the report continued for the full column and about half of a another, a rare luxury of space afforded only the most important of news stories in 19th century newspapers.
It was definitively the biggest storm of the season, and possibly of the century. [Read more…] about The Great Blizzard of March 1888 in Washington County
Poetry: After Snowfall
I have come to like
the simple symmetry of
It is like erasing
a great white board
a dazzling surface
on which to write again
the equations for
the rest of our lives.
About the Poet: Gene Ervine loves the crisp snowy winters of Alaska. He grew up in the cool, wet woods of the Pacific Northwest praying for snow. When his wife Nancy took a teaching job in a one-room school in a logging camp they moved to Alaska “for a year,” that adventure has stretched into lifetimes.
He studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Exposure to the Imagists and Beats have shaped his writing. Gene worked as an exhibit planner and writer for the Department of the Interior. He now lives in Anchorage. For over forty years Alaska’s varied landscapes and seasons have inspired him.