Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow Day!

It was raining when I went to school at 8:00 this morning. By 9:00 a.m. there were big "juicy" goosefeather-type snowflake clusters coming down. Needless to say, the kids were very excited! After yesterday's high temperature of 61 degrees (F), I didn't expect it to stick to the road, but at 10:30 the principal announced that school would be closing at 12:30 p.m. I couldn't wait to get home and try out my new snowflake photography experiment. Last week I bought 1/2-yard of black velvet and mounted it on a piece of cardboard so I can catch snowflakes. The good news is, the velvet worked beautifully, the bad news is the snow was very clumpy and there were no pretty flakes to photograph. :( I did notice needles and column snowflakes (see photo). These kinds of flakes form when the air temperature in the clouds is 28 degrees or above. The pretty dendrite and plate snowflakes form at temperatures around 5 degrees. I hope we will get more snow tomorrow so I can try this again!

Since the snowflake photos were not what I was hoping for, I went inside and attached my camera to my spotting scope and took the camera to the basement where I could get next to the window. The kids are not the only little "critters" that go nuts when it snows, the birds were all over the feeder and the ground below it! There were numerous Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Song Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens, Goldfinches, Towhees, a Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-breasted Woodpeckers, and even a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! It was interesting to see some of the birds eating snow from the branches.

Male Cardinal

Chickadee (l) and male Red-bellied Woodpecker (r)

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (l)
Carolina Wren (r)

Later I tried to get photos of a flock of Cedar Waxwings in my neighbors' yard, but they were either too far away up in the top of the tree or they were in bad light.

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