Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where did the winter go?

A view of the cabin from way up a tree.

Here it is already the end of January, and I am still waiting to see a good dump of snow. Around the cabin, on the hillside, there is not enough to whiten the ground. Some places on the flat have nearly six inches, but it is hard and dense, since there has been a lot of warmish weather (above freezing). The coldest I have recorded so far this winter was –25 C  (-13F). I am in Stewart today (my first trip into town since December 3) and this town is usually buried in snow for at least three months of the year, and I mean really buried, with over twelve feet of snow. This year, there is less than a foot on the ground here now. For several weeks now, when we should be getting our coldest weather, the temperature has been just above or below 0 C (30-35 F). Today there is more snow and cold in central Virginia than there is up here!

On Christmas day, I found a cow moose that had been badly injured by wolves. Got some photos and video before I put her down. She was hamstrung and could barely stand up. The wolves might have taken several more days to finish her off. Wolves do not make instant kills. They sometimes spend weeks harassing an animal after the initial attack, before they finish the job. Well. That is the way of the woods! I have been keeping up my spirits doing some graphic displays of fractals. Lots a fun. The days are much longer already. Back in December, sunrise was at ten a.m. Now it is more like 8:30. That makes a big difference in one’s attitude. I am looking forward to spring and have been taking advantage of the lack of snow and cold weather to work in my garden area, clearing new ground so I can get it under cultivation sooner when the ground thaws out.

 I had to melt snow for my water supply for most of December and early January. The little spring above the cabin froze over. In a normal year this would not have happened. Deeper snow would have insulated the spring and the flow would continue, but with almost no snow cover, the frost went deep.

I had a cat visiting me at the cabin regularly for a while early this month, a lynx, and I got some good photos.

I have been keeping in shape by climbing some of the gigantic spruce and fir trees near the cabin. The first ascent is slow because I have to remove a lot of dead branches and twigs to clear a path, but after that, it is easy and quick. Quite exciting, too, to be over a hundred feet above the ground when there is a hard wind blowing.


Nancy said...

good grief, Woody, keep safe climbing those giant trees in high winds!

The pictures are beautiful. Was that moose the cow that you put out of her misery?

I am puzzled why the wolves couldn't have done it first.

The weather has definitely gone crazy, we have very little snow anywhere in Toronto...but I thought you'd have more where you were!

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