Mountain Snow

This year has not been a good one for mountain snow. The warm January and extended periods of dry weather throughout the winter and early spring appear to have resulted relatively low snow pack, as these two shots taken on the same day of the year this year (top) and in 2011 (bottom) show. I … Read more

Late Winter Snow

I spent much of the day in bed feeling groggy and tired from a head cold. Snow was falling this morning when I first looked and continued until late afternoon or early evening. I took these pictures of nearly 10 inches of snow accumulated on the deck railing around 2pm. Hopefully this late season snow doesn’t stick around for too long, but there have been years when we’ve had significant snow well into April.

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Wind Sculpted Snow

Strong winds blew through last night. I hadn’t heard the forecast, but while walking downtown last evening definitely noticed how strong the wind was blowing. By the time I walked back home some time later, it was quite calm. I heard today that there were actually snow wheels at SJ where the wet snow had been blown by the snow and accumulated into wheel shapes as they rolled across the surface.

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Snowy Day at Totem Park

I got an e-mail this morning from someone who reported seeing a dozen or so geese off the point at Totem Park this morning. She said it was dim and she didn’t have binoculars so couldn’t see them too well, but it looked like they might not have white cheeks, and might be worth checking out. I took this as motivation to get out of the house – something I might not have done otherwise.

By the time I headed out, skies were getting darker and snow was starting to fall. When I reached the park snow was falling heavily. Between the wind, snow, and moderately low tide, I couldn’t see the water at the end of the park, and I didn’t really want to wander out into the stiff breeze with blowing snow. Instead, I spent a little more time on the trail, gave some attention to the two species of alder, then walked over to the river mouth, and finally to the point, by which time the snow was starting to let up.

I walked out on the flats and was able to approach some of the 100 or more crows fairly closely. They seemed to be foraging for invertebrates and eating snow. It was fun to watch (and try to photograph) them flying up with mussels (I think) and dropping them to crack them open. I got pictures of several different individuals, but not a good full sequence for any particular time. I sorted the gallery pictures below so it’s in order, even though the pictures are from 2 or 3 different birds. One particular crow allowed me to approach quite closely as it was eating snow. I was interested in this, since Rowan had just told me a couple of days ago that she was able to see the crows eating snow at the park.

After heading back to the trail, I stopped to take pictures of 5 different alder trees. I like to try and notice differences between the species of alder (Alnus rubra and Alnus viridis) – and I think I found another one today. It seemed to work pretty well for the trees I could find at the park today, anyway.

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