Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Monthly Weather Update

Wow, what a warm February we just had! The average high is supposed to be 31F, and the average low is supposed to be 11F.  But, this month the average high was 37.6F and the average low was 17.8.

Monday, February 26, 2018

National Geographic - Hear Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice

Check out this awesome YouTube video by National Geographic:
Hear Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice

Skating on thin ice is generally not recommended, but this Swedish mathematician has it planned to the millimeter! Fascinating sounds and sights as you watch the ice crack and flex under his skates!

Also read the article, How Skating on Thin Ice Creates Laser-Like Sounds.

New ice photo taken Nov. 28, 2010
Fascinating! Now, I want to make sure I get out to the pond when the new ice forms next winter. Check out the cool pond ice photos I took in Dec., 2010!
Air bubbles in newly formed ice  Dec, 18, 2010 

Big air bubble in new ice - Dec 18, 2010
Air bubble starburst in new ice.  Dec, 18, 2010
Cracks lined with bubbles in new ice.  Dec, 18, 2010
And, yes, the ice was super smooth!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Snowy day

We got 3" of new snow today. Now, at 8:15 pm, it is spritzing liquid moisture!

Springs and thin ice on Caesar Pond

Now that the ice is thinning with warm weather, I feel it necessary to revisit a map that I made back in December, 2011 of the location of springs in Caesar Pond. These areas should be noted as the ice is thinner where water from springs wells up. These may not be all of the springs. Note the location of our house (labeled "Kasha's House".)

The pond is spring loaded, so to speak, and I wanted to map the springs that I saw. In order to do this, I had to be very cautious, because where there are springs, there is open water with very thin ice surrounding it. I tried to stay a maximum of 20 feet from shore, where possible. Unfortunately, I was not able to cross the north cove safely, and had to backtrack as you can see on the map. I traversed a total of 1.86 miles on the ice and had to go slowly in some places as I had to test the ice strength. Mind you, these are not all the springs in the pond, just the ones I could see, or know of. There are others located toward the middle as well. This is not something you want to do cavalierly…you must use caution.
I found one open water spring in the middle of the South Cove.
Note the dark colored and pithy ice surrounding the spring where there is open water.
It is a large spring, and you can tell where springs are by the darker colored ice that spreads out from the spring. The ice here is pithy and thin.

Now we go to the west side of the pond near the beaver lodge.
 There is one large spring between the lodge and the shoreline.

North end of pond perimeter.
From the west side of the pond, we now travel to the north end of the pond which is pockmarked with numerous springs.
North Cove spring # 1
This spring is located just in the open water outside of the north cove.
North cove spring # 1 is manhole cover sized!
North Cove spring # 2
North cove spring # 2 is located closer to the eastern shore, just outside the "entrance" to the north cove.
North Cove spring # 2
Here is a close-up of spring # 2.
This spring is just west of the tall pine tree in the south cove.
The other springs are located back into the boggy area of the north cove.

Drew drilled holes through the ice from shore toward the middle in Dec. 2011.
And, lastly, here is a photo to show you that the ice is usually thicker near shore and thinner as you go out toward the middle of the pond.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Foggy Popham Beach

Popham Beach, anytime of the year, is gorgeous. Today, the beach was enveloped in thick fog (and the temp. was 38F to begin our day and 50F upon leaving for home. We also took the hounds with us. See their post on Maine Nature Greyhounds.We made our way toward the surf zone through an elevated area where dune grasses were taking hold. 
This is exciting because most of the dunes were washed away over the years, and there hasn't been a buffer zone on the beach which has led to a great amount of inshore erosion.
With the Morse River regularly changing course, it is always a surprise to see the state of the beach at every visit. This section was particularly rough and windblown.
As we approached the edge of the ocean, I found the clearest view to be that of the sand surface as much of the rest of the landscape was otherwise obscured by fog!
The surf was gorgeous and almost sepia toned in the fog.
The waves pounded the shore, with a thudding percussion effect, which we could feel as they broke nearby.
We enjoyed seeing the foam as it preceded the rushing water. It reminded me of the scalloped lace hem of a wedding dress caressing the sand as it swished to and fro.
Over time, the fog began to lift and we could see the faint outline of Fox Island.
The spit of land that connects it to the beach was underwater, making the island inaccessible as we neared high tide later in the day.
With this being winter vacation, there were lots of children on the beach. These kids were quite amusing as they approached the water's edge. They were getting prepped to turn and run from the incoming waves.
And, run they did...laughing all the way! There is nothing more pleasant than hearing happy sounds of children mixed in with the sound of surf and wind.

I leave you with a photo of this broken sand dollar. Over time, it will fracture into smaller, and smaller pieces, gradually becoming one with the sand.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Weekly Weather - Insanely Warm!

Wowee, would you look at the weather for this next week! Crazy warm for February! I'm thinking that there is a beach day in our near future as it is Winter Vacation for us;-)

Snowy morning

We awoke to 8" of fluffy, new snow on the ground. Kinda like a late Christmas present! Although, with the slick layer of ice that is on the ground, under the ice, walking is treacherous!
It is gorgeous outside, and the temp. should rise to 38F under a sunny sky this afternoon;-) This gives us 66.75" of snow thus far this winter season.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Tiny bit of snow followed by rain. UGH!

We got 2.5 inches of snow followed by snow. I am not, not, not liking this new winter weather pattern we are in!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Snow Total thus far

Snow Total thus far this winter: 56" of snow.
We got around 8" of snow from this storm.

The ground surfaces, where we have walked and driven the car, are glare ice. The only thing keeping Drew upright, as he snow throws the driveway and pathways, is that he is gripping the snow thrower. And, he is even wearing diamond grip YakTrax.  It is treacherous because the snow is on top of the ice but is not sticking to it. This situation adds an extra layer of slippage! Treacherous!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


There is no school today as we have the potential for plowable snow, followed by mixed precipitation, of course. The, we'll have two afternoons to play in the snow before we get rain over the weekend and 11 days of above freezing temperatures. I cannot voice my displeasure enough about this weather pattern we continue to have. Gone are the days of just heading out our back door to snowshoe or hike in the packed snow of the woods. Now, we have to wear Yaktrax for traction on ice in the woods, if we can even get there by "skating" through our backyard! Anywho, here is the storm report:

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Maine PLT Immersion and Transition Workshop

Wowee! What a phenomenal two days I just had. I attended a Maine Project Learning Tree Immersion and Transition Gathering, at Camp Kieve. There were so many parts to this weekend, from which I gained a lot of new ideas about workshop and content delivery. To be part of such a dynamic group of people is always so humbling. I was surrounded by seasoned movers and shakers in the world of environmentalism, as well as young, upcoming superstars. There was such an incredible wealth of information delivered by foresters, environmental educators, university students and professors, Maine Audubon, and the Maine Environmental Education Association president, as well as science teachers from all grade levels. We even had a national PLT representative from Washington, DC, as well as Shari Templeton from the Maine Dept. of Education. AWESOME and awe inspiring!
Here are our three fearless leaders - Pat (SFI), Jackie (National PLT), and Pat (Maine PLT)!
And, here is the motto for Camp Kieve.
This is the Camp Kieve Mission Statement, which says alot about this organization and why we enjoy meeting here. 

Snowy weekend

From early Saturday until 9am we got 4" of snow.
We got 1" of snow out of a tiny front before the Saturday storm.