Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Walk

The day following the snow storm was windy and cold, but the sun came out and made it look warm.  Snow played just a minor role in the recent storm.  The only uniform snow covering was in the cedar thickets where the strong winds couldn’t penetrate.  Not enough to impede walking, the snow was just enough to let you know it was truly a winter day.

The transformation from a rainy 60 degrees to snowy 20’s was rough on the soil.  Soil particles were pushed up several inches on rapidly forming columns of ice.  With temperatures fluctuating from daytime 40’s to overnight 20’s, frost heave has been an almost constant event this year.

Water table is at its maximum levels and the creek keeps gurgling along.  These conditions normally foretell fish traveling far up the creek during the spring spawning runs.  That often spells disaster for the creek breeding salamanders.

Two days of below freezing temperatures is enough to create some impressive ice formations.  Surface water trickling down exposed roots can build thick icicles.  Roots trailing in the water form wide feet at the water’s surface.

The deciduous woods was pretty well blasted by the wind.  Much of the snow is hidden in the leaf litter.

In the wind shadow of the cedars, snow caught on the leaves of the Big Bluestem and gave the illusion of a deep accumulation.  Where wind made it to the grass, the snow disappeared down to ground level.

I found the tracks of a big dog on one of the trails.  There are only two animals in Ohio that I consider dangerous.  Number two on that list is the domestic dog.  This looks to be the track of a fairly large individual.

The pond quickly froze over, but the area fed by intermittent springs remains open.  This water is heavily visited by birds and other animals during cold weather.  The variety of visitors grows with each cold day.  So far this year, icy conditions haven’t lasted more than a few days, so the number of animals searching for open water has been low.


  1. Yes, that dog(?) print is impressive. What is the other critter that is frightening?

  2. Besides man,who else do you fear?

  3. Hi Lois. The most dangerous creature I've ever encountered is Man. I’m referring to people you meet who are in a place where they should not be and have therefore already committed one crime. I've never encountered any other animal that pointed a gun at me and warned me to go away.

    Anonymous - The only dangerous animals I've ever encountered have been Man and Dog, although they're usually less trouble when they're together. I've had some wild animals threaten me, but it was because I inadvertently put them in a position that offered no options. When I backed off, they ignored me.

  4. looks like 5 toes on that dog. thought they only had 4.