Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ice and Snow Create the Coral Forest

The forest at the nature preserve as been an interesting place to be for the the last week. A winter storm initially deposited a good dose of ice on the trees and then the ice was coated with a thick layer of wet snow. Below freezing temperatures prevailed afterward and preserved everything perfectly. The trails have been difficult to traverse due to numerous snow bound branches bending in all directions, but any trip through has been well worth it. My colleague, Natalie, referred to the woods as the "coral forest" and the metaphor is most apt. 
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Note how the snow only adheres to one side of each branch
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A flock of Canada Geese fly above the coral forest
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The foot trails were hard to discern in some places
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The scene down at the stream bed
The small Canada Hemlocks in the forest were made obvious by their laden  forms
A Raccoon sleeps in a hollow tree - He likely awaits improved traveling conditions
Beneath a canopy of low drooping White Pine boughs is a deer bed from the previous night
A White Pine reforestation field is transformed by the snow and ice coating
Looking back up toward Spring Farm from the White Pine field
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An American Beech - still retaining its leaves, receives a generous plastering of snow and ice
Natalie Parent coins the term "Coral Forest"
A deer is still able to move about fairly easily
From the White Spruce field comes a procession of very strange snowmen 
Interesting ice formations beneath the beaver dam
A crack in the pond ice looks like a river system as seen from space
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Just some ice beneath a footbridge