Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Holy Rollers, Batman!

We rarely have snow rollers in Ohio, but conditions were perfect for them up at Urbana!
They are everywhere on our campus
Wind drives wet snow across previously fallen, icy snow until it makes a little ball 
 As that ball is pushed by the wind, it is shaped into a roll!
 Here you see a range from little lumps to big rollers
 When the wind can't move it anymore, the roller stops
 They are mostly hollow
 Generally a bit longer than they are thick
 And they leave trails as they roll!
 Ours range in size from little 2-3 inch rollers to big ones over a foot in diameter
 This roller is OBVIOUSLY tired of traveling
 The rollers formed on many of our open fields!
 Our softball field...
 Looks like a roller coral, now!
 Here you can see how they are formed
 Mostly hollow
Often with obvious layering
 And generally with a kind of fluting on the outside
 We had some big ones out on our soccer field!
That is the windiest part of campus, for sure
But the little rollers are just as cute :-)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Elfin' Cold

 Which is my way of saying that temperatures are colder and weather conditions are worse right now in Xenia, Ohio, than they are in North Pole, Alaska!

 Waning moon...
 Beautiful in the trees...
 Deer scrounging for food...
 Noticing me, a hundred yards away (or more)...
 Giving me that look: who ARE you?
 Wind and snow are at work up here...
 Sculpting lips...
 Frowning, as we are...
And yet lovely in their delicate, frigid form.
 My "winning" shot of the week...perfect light!
 Rivers are freezing over...
 Even the feisty Little Miami...
Actually, it is COLDER than it looks.
I am extravagant with seed....
 Keeping the critters fat and warm.
 This cardinal is really going after those seeds!
 Momma looking about...
 Chatting with Brother Sparrow...
I KNOW there must be a sunflower seed around here somewhere!

Stay warm and safe, my friends...we are in the midst of an old-fashioned winter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunny Sunday at Siebenthaler Fen

"I want to go to the fen today!" said The Bug. " do know it snowed again last night," said I. "I know, but I want to see what it looks like in winter. It's on my 50 by 50 list!" And so off we a mid-January. And it was amazing!
The Bugly, our vintage Pontiac Aztek, is great for Sunday rambles
 Ah, the Intrepid Explorer, impatient to see the fen
 There are lots of fallen trees in the fen...this one made a snow dog!
I think they are the result of a combination of beaver girdling, which kills overstory trees to allow new growth, on which beaver feed, etc., and damage by Emerald Ash Borers
 Beaver Creek, on the fen's eastern border
 A partially frozen run...fens have runs that drain water from them, unlike bogs
 Here is the upper part of the run
Runs typically are fed by springs, so they do not easily freeze over, unlike stagnant water
 I was infatuated with reflections on Beaver Creek
 And snow on fallen timber

 And water in its various forms

 Monet reflections...
 Ah, THERE she is!
The Shadow of The Bug
No stopping to rest today!
 We pulled up short, unsure of the footing on this section of the trail
We normally walk out to the observation gazebo and on to the raised platform, but walking in snow had tuckered us out
 Also, the wind had picked up a bit
 As evidenced by this puffy little Swamp Sparrow!
 The sights were amazing!
 If a bit frosty
 Me...without a hat. I would regret that by the end of our hike! My wife makes hats, you know...and scarves. I had a cap in the Bugly. Next time maybe I'll remember to put it on? We'll see...