Entries organized under Weather

Big Snow

January 24, 2016

Contributed by NicolasNicolas Graybear

Hurray! We finally got a “big snow” up here on our mountain! (I know there are many out there that do not like snow, sorry.) In two days it snowed more than all of last winter combined! Of, course, it was not as much snow as some other parts of the country got, but still, it’s a lot.

The first bit of snow came down quiet, gentle and nearly windless, piling up on tree branches, even the small twigs. The three or four inches accumulation was so pretty.

The second, bigger storm came in on roaring winds. Because of the wind, it is hard to know how much really came down. In some places it was eight inches deep, in other places it was 24 inches deep. In many places it was up to the wolves’ bellies! Deli loves to roll in it; Grace likes to dance in it and then just lie in it; Tuls seems to be indifferent though she does, on occasion, like to run and scoop snow into her mouth.  They all have to bite the snow from between their toes when they come back into the cave.

There is so much to like about snow:

* As it falls and accumulates, it is so quiet. Few go out in it to make noise and the noise that is made just gets swallowed up in it.Snowy barn

* The crunch of fresh cold snow under foot is unlike any noise you will hear in spring, summer or fall. And much more pleasing a sound than the ‘splet’ and ‘squelsh’ as it warms up and turns to slush as you step in it.

* The snow swirling and dancing as it is driven across the ground just looks happy! It makes me happy! Where will it come to rest?

* The clean fresh surface lets us see who has passed. You can follow tracks of Mrs. Rabbit to see where she has gone. You can see what the birds like to eat with their chaotic dance under a branch that used to be full of seeds. You can know that Mr. Deer has been searching for food in the meadow.  It can tell interesting stories if you know how to read it.

 brid tracks in snowdeer tracks * After the clouds have dropped their frozen cargo and departed, the sun comes and makes every snowflake sparkle like the whole world is covered in diamond dust.

* The trees on the tops of the taller mountains have collected a glaze of ice because they stuck up into the clouds gathering water before it froze into snowflakes. They are so beautiful as they shimmer in the sun with a different sparkle than the snow.

* You can make snow angels.

* You can make snow bears… and rabbits… and people.

* You can make snow forts and castles, if you have enough.

 

Distant_Snowy_mountains

* You can see the snow covered ground under the trees on the mountains across the valley. You can see the flow and roll of the land better and that white surface under the snowless gray trees makes the mountains look like they are wearing a dark furry coat.

snow creature

* Snow creates rare funny creatures.

* You can make snow cream!

* After playing (and working) in it, you can go inside and warm up by the fire!

Snow is not so bad. I like it.

Nicolas

Deb, Harry, bee balmNature enthusiasts Harry LeBlanc and Deb Vail are at home in the forest hiking to reach beautiful vistas and searching for native plants in the southern Appalachians. They are co-founders of Grandparents of the Forest, an intimate business offering simple yet meaningful ways for children and their parents to connect to Nature for well-being and healing. They also make Sacred Forest® Flower Essences from the plants they encounter. They are former organic farmers and parents of 5 grown children.

First Snow (Sort of)

December 16, 2015

Contributed by NicolasNicolas Graybear

Last week felt like we Graybears had migrated to the Bahamas… or the Bahamas had come to us! (At least, I have heard the Bahamas are warm even in winter.) Beautiful days with high temperatures in the sixties made us want to be out exploring instead of preparing the cave for the cubs’ Christmas visit.

We did take an afternoon off to celebrate our eleventh anniversary and take a walk along one of our favorite local trails. On our way home, we had to stop and enjoy one of the most spectacular and reddest sunsets we have seen in a long while. Even several humans stopped to appreciate and capture it with their cameras.

It was surely an optical illusion, but with no leaves on trees everything seemed so much more present, crisper and closer. Rock faces and other landscape features appeared in places we had passed dozens of times before without noticing. (Very uncharacteristic for a bear – we notice everything!) Vista views seemed wider and farther than in spring or summer. Even as the temperature dropped as dusk approached, it was hard to take our eyes away from the beauty.

Yesterday we could feel the temperatures drop all day long. We woke up to upper thirties and by dusk it was in the upper twenties with the first light snow of the season carried by very high winds… gusts more than thirty miles an hour. It made the cave vibrate and the trees roar! Even the wolves didn’t want to stay out in it and preferred the cave warmth. It was so nice to be inside by the fire even though the snow ended up being only a dusting that barely lasted in the shade once the sun rose.

That’s it for now. Time to wander out to find some plantain (Plantago lanceolata). I’ll chew it up and hold between my cheek and gum most of the day to draw out a minor toothache.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Nicolas

Deb, Harry, bee balmNature enthusiasts Harry LeBlanc and Deb Vail are at home in the forest hiking to reach beautiful vistas and searching for native plants in the southern Appalachians. They are co-founders of Grandparents of the Forest, an intimate business offering simple yet meaningful ways for children and their parents to connect to Nature for well-being and healing. They also make Sacred Forest® Flower Essences from the plants they encounter. They are former organic farmers and parents of 5 grown children.