The Quiet Time of Year

November 20, 2020

A late winter has finally arrived. About 25 degrees Fahrenheit and that feels cold, quite unsettling in a place where winters typically move far below zero at night for days, even weeks, at a time. First electricity outage of the winter occurred a few days ago, though for less than an hour. When I first moved to the Adirondacks, electricity outages were a constant problem, but they’ve become less frequent. Still, there’s trepidation at the thought of potentially losing heat on a cold cold night.

I went on my first hike in winter boots this week, with only a dusting of snow on the ground. Didn’t bother with the camera, since the battery becomes exhausted quickly. My first ten minutes in the cold, I decided I would only go for short winter walks this season, maybe half an hour or so. Then I stayed out a full hour and didn’t want to come back even then. I’d forgotten how special a winter hike can be, and what a good mood it leaves you with.

Rough-legged Hawks are back in Vermont! I saw more than I could count on my drive to Middlebury. They spend time in Northeast farming country during the winter, hunting small rodents in open fields. I don’t see them in the Adirondacks, probably because there isn’t as much open country, there’s more snow, and it’s a bit colder. In the spring Rough-legged Hawks will head north, as they breed in the Arctic region. They are circumpolar birds, found in North America and Eurasia.

Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Photo: Walter Siegmund