Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Friday, February 26, 2010


Today we had sun, clouds, rain, snow, sleet, lightning & thunder, all in rotation.  It was definitely interesting.  And not really the kind of good weather for getting sap running.  For good syrup weather you need cool nights, around 20ºF, and warm days, around 40ºF.  Sap will eventually run anyway, but that is what works the best.  Buckets have been hung, so it is time to go!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

rainy day

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.  Yeah, I said the other day that I'd like a thaw or a snowstorm - well, I'm getting thaw, but in the form of buckets of rain.  Not really what I had in mind, but there you go - weather!  Things are looking a little floody, given that the ground is frozen.  There was some wet snow on the ground this morning, but since daylight it's just been rain.  And more in the forecast for tomorrow.

I did at least hear the cardinal singing his bright spring song today.

And I'm not sure who was trying to eat from my birdfeeders, but one of them was on the ground, empty this morning.

overflowing pond & waterfall

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This is the part of winter where we need either a good thaw or a big snowstorm.  Everything is icy and crunchy and getting old.  Sure, the chickadees are calling "spring's here" and the witch hazel is beginning to pop and the light is getting brighter, but it is still windy and chilly and most definitely winter - we need a little excitement!  So I say, give us a couple of days with temps in the 50s, or else a good dumping of snow so we can get in some more skiing.

I did see some frozen footprints on my little bridge this morning, going up the path, but the weren't clear enough for me to determine if they were fisher or raccoon.  It's still nice to know that whoever it is, is around.

And here are some rodent tunnels I saw yesterday.  Of course, they aren't tunnels any more, since the tops have melted off....  And that might be a fisher print off to the left side - I didn't notice it when I was taking the photo (too busy focusing on the tunnels, I guess), and back here at home I can't look for other clues in situ.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

sun again

The predicted snowstorm never materialized yesterday.  We got an inch, tops, and it has mostly melted in today's beautiful sunshine.  Take a look at the round meadow to the left - you wouldn't believe it snowed at all yesterday. 

The following picture, of some scat, won't appeal to everyone, I suppose, but look at this!  I can't say what animal it came from, other than a small one, but I can tell you that whatever it was, ate bittersweet berries - nothing else around here has that vivid orange color.
bittersweet scat
(from a chipmunk?  skunk?)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Yesterday seemed like spring.  It really wasn't that warm - maybe 35ºF - but the sun was shining and it hadn't been above freezing for quite a while, so it was very pleasant.
Today we are having a snowstorm.  Nothing like what the mid-Atlantic region has been putting up with, and not even as much as has been predicted, but it is definitely snowing.  School was cancelled, although it didn't need to be - the snow didn't start in earnest until 3pm.  Oh well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

raccoon tracks

I spent quite a while today following a raccoon trail.  It was clearly a well-used trail - there were many tracks going in both directions.  There were also many side tracks.  I'm guessing the coons are living under my neighbor's deck, judging from where the tracks seemed to come from - I decided not to trespass and follow the tracks into their yard.  Then I followed the tracks out from the house line and through the woods for quite a ways.  One interesting thing I noticed was that whenever there was a downed tree lying in the general direction of the trail, the coons would walk on the tree trunk, instead of on the ground.  The tracks were very clear in some places because we had a dusting of snow the other night.  In other places I had to look carefully around where the snow had melted away to find where the trail picked up again.  I have no idea how many raccoons are out there, but there are a LOT of tracks.  They often stopped around dead trees, as if looking for snacks there.  I followed the tracks all the way down to a swamp where the trail led onto the ice.  I continued to follow it for a while, but then I started to see open water as I got closer to the stream that runs through the swampy area.  Not wanting to walk all the way home wet and muddy - it was pretty cold here today - I headed off the ice and back toward home.  As I came back to the (human) trail I found no people tracks, but more coon tracks!

coon tracks on ice

coon tracks up close

Another cool thing - my new phone has a GPS in it, so I tried it out today, and I could see where I was walking on a map!  I knew where I was the whole time because I was in an area near my home, but it was neat to think that if I were in some unfamiliar place, I could find my way out to a road - assuming there is a GPS signal of course, and that the battery isn't dead.
I'm not generally a techie, but some new things are just so cool!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

winter view

This is a scene I saw on my afternoon walk yesterday.  It is a stream that runs into a swampy area where there are lots of red-wing blackbirds in the spring and summer.  Yesterday and today all is pretty monochromatic - that's February in New England.
winter swamp
This photo is from my new phone - not too bad, really.