Jan 17– and snow it begins…

It took until January 17th, but we’re finally getting a bit of proper winter weather. The incessant off-and-on rain of the past six days changed into snow around 1:00 this afternoon, and an hour later, I had bundled up and set off to poke around in the woods. The ground was utterly saturated with water, spongy and squishy, my boots, already pretty well soaked from yesterday’s hike, didn’t keep my feet dry for the slightest moment. I walked with my friend Liat (unusual in itself, as I almost always walk alone in the woods), through the forest up to the graveyard, where the forestry crew has been hard at work. The last time I had been up there, the woods were all cluttered-looking with blowdowns and debris– it actually seemed a bit disrespectful. It looked much cleaner and tidier there today, which I take as an improvement. We walked down the slope on the back side of the graveyard down to the upper reaches of STP creek, most of which is actually on Tommy Anderson’s land. The original plan had been to poke around in the flat area surrounding the creek, which has a lot of good stumps and dead trees for oyster mushrooms, but the whole area was so flooded and mudded and soggy boggy that we thought better of the plan. We wandered back through woods and fields, as the snow came down harder, and even started to stick. As I write this (about 8:30 PM), the snow seems to have tapered off, leaving us with about 2 inches of accumulation. Not exactly the blizzard of ’13, but on a year like this, I’ll take what we get.  It’ll be enough to look pretty and maybe even do a bit of sledding in the morning.

Freshly trimmed-up woods around the graveyard:

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Cool “snow shadow” beneath a fallen tree:

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another “snow shadow”

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these are some oysters growing in the woods immediately behind ZK.  I first saw them a few days back, but didn’t want to pick them before letting them grow to full size.  I figure that with the snow and frost forecast for the next few days, they’re not going to grow a whole lot bigger than this.  So I harvested the big clumps.  It will be interesting to see if the smaller clusters actually grow in the colder conditions.

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yum.

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