Chair Tom Wheeler
We had some cold days this November and some exceptional snows in the southern and western portions of St. Lawrence County. Yet the winter forecast promises a more normal winter rather than the unrelenting cold of last winter. Some complain about our long north country winters, but our location also provides us opportunity for varied winter recreation. Unlike more southerly areas where every winter snowstorm is followed shortly by slush, the Adirondacks usually maintains its snow cover so that we can snowshoe or ski in temperatures in which the snow does not stick to the skis (or snowshoes) and we can glide through the woods.
Winter also brings some interesting birds down from the far north: roughlegged hawks, red polls, and perhaps a pine grosbeak. Last year there was an influx of snowy owls... and this might be repeated this year in this area, as I observed one the day after Thanksgiving in Lisbon. Alison Charles’s picture of a snowy owl from last winter won the grand prize in our photo contest and this and other contest winners can be seen on our website. They are beautiful birds... keep your eyes open and you might see one.
The winter can be a time of extremes. But it is also a time of outstanding natural beauty and exhilarating outdoor experiences. In the mountains the sky can seem such a majestic blue contrasting with the stark white of snow on the trees and slopes. The bugs don’t bite, there is no mud, the rocks are covered in snow. One can glide down hill. A few minutes of physical exercise and you are warm. The years I spent doing the forty six high peaks in the winter were also the years when the winter seemed to pass most quickly. Instead of wishing for winter to end, I was wishing for winter to be longer. I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy. You might see a snowy owl!