Winter

Courtesy Chris Goldberg via Flickr/Creative Commons.

It’s stick season in New Hampshire; the leaves are gone, our landscape exposed; a white nivean blanket covers everything you see. Our trees are dormant. Aren’t they? To look at them, it wouldn’t seem that trees aren’t doing much right now. But it turns out there’s more going on than meets the eye. The phenomenon of photosynthesis is well documented, we all know that plants use their leaves to convert sunlight into sugar, or carbohydrates. But that’s not the only place photosynthesis happens.

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

 

Rewind: The Night the Trees Turned to Glass

Dec 12, 2018
Courtesy nashuavideotours via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Ten years ago this week, an ice storm descended upon New Hampshire. And as so often happens in the wake of such storms communities drew together to find a collective way through the troubles. In this story from the NHPR Archive, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited Francestown and found a microcosm of the experience that affected countless other communities around the state.

Courtesy Jerry McFarland via Flickr/Creative Commons.

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

Peter Higbee / Nansen Ski Club

People driving through downtown Berlin, New Hampshire on Friday might hit an unusual "toll,” and a reminder that winter is coming.

Along Route 16, near Veteran's Memorial Park, Nansen Ski Club volunteers will stand on one side of the road behind traffic barricades, banner unfurled, and buckets open for some change or a dollar.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Another nor'easter is developing, and this winter storm watch coincides Tuesday with New Hampshire's annual Town Meeting day.

The National Weather Service issued the storm alert for all of Tuesday and until Wednesday at 8 a.m.

The updated forecast Sunday indicates snowfall of at least a couple of inches across the Granite State. 

Snow accumulation projections include:

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

A flood watch is in effect for a large part of New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, as the forecast calls for possible heavy rain at times, with precipitation turning to sleet and a wintry mix.

The National Weather Service has issued a slew of warnings and advisories for the Granite State. Some regions have multiple advisories. Concord, for example, has the following:

Sean Hurley

A long time ago - in this galaxy - I was sitting on the floor of a strange house in a room lit only by the cathode flicker of Milton Berle or Henny Youngman - or maybe it was Bob Hope?

 

Editor's note: We recommend listening to this story by Sean Hurley

“Boy, I feel great tonight!” Bob Hope began his 1966 routine on Milton Berle’s show, “I’m using a new oil on my hair. But I don’t know what to do with the sardines!”  

Martina Oefelein via Flickr CC

So the thing about “nature shows” - even this one - is that we tend to talk about plant and animal species in pretty independent terms. "The red-tailed hawk eats this, sounds like that, does this in the winter…" But as we’ve tried to explain over the years (here at Something Wild) the hawk is just one resident in a complex ecological puzzle; she interacts with other animals and plants in the neighborhood.

Something Wild: Why We Deck Our Halls

Dec 29, 2017
Fellowship of the Rich via Flickr/Creative Commons.

O Tannenbaum is a song often heard this time of year, and it signals a deeper arborphilia within our culture.

Brady Carlson

With temperatures plunging across the state, most folks are doing their darndest to hunker down indoors.

But the brutally cold weather isn't scaring some kids away from enjoying the snow.

NHPR's Todd Bookman caught up with 10 year-old twins Jacob and Jaimeson LaPaige - and their saint of a mom, Cassie - during an afternoon of sledding in Concord.

Take a listen:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Temperatures will drop to single digits for the rest of this week, so break out the long underwear, the wool sweaters, and those down jackets.

"Or your flannel-lined jeans."

That's what one DOT worker told the press last year when asked for his secret on bearing the extreme cold while required to work outside.

(The National Weather Service has issued a winter chill advisory for northern New Hampshire.)

Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

'Tis the season for Christmas carols but at Something Wild one in particular captures our attention: The Twelve Days of Christmas. There are a lot of birds featured in the song but, like so many of our carols, the lyrics are from old Europe and don’t really speak to life in 21st century New England. So we thought maybe it’s time for an update… a rewrite… a New Hampshire Christmas carol.

NHPR

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

N.H. to See First Major Snowfall of the Winter Season

Dec 8, 2017
ALLEGRA BOVERMAN FOR NHPR

The state will see its first major snowstorm of the winter season Saturday. 

Courtsey mgstanton via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Water is what has allowed life to generate and regenerate on this tiny blue marble of ours. Most of us would shrivel up and blow away without a water supply. And yet every year at this time water becomes scarce, surface water anyway. So the question is what happens when that water freezes. 

Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory via Flickr

The North American Wood Frog has developed an impressive strategy for surviving cold New England winters. It doesn't seek warmth as other animals do. The wood frog goes with the cold and actually freeze in the winter months. Come spring, it thaws out, ready for mating season. 

Martina Oefelein via Flickr CC

So the thing about “nature shows” - even this one - is that we tend to talk about plant and animal species in pretty independent terms. "The red-tailed hawk eats this, sounds like that, does this in the winter…" But as we’ve tried to explain over the years (here at Something Wild) the hawk is just one resident in complex ecological puzzle; she interacts with other animals and plants in the neighborhood.

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

Courtsey mgstanton via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Water is what has allowed life to generate and regenerate on this tiny blue marble of ours. Most of us would shrivel up and blow away without a water supply. And yet every year at this time water becomes scarce, surface water anyway. So the question is what happens when that water freezes. 

Something Wild: 12 Birds of Christmas...NH-Style!

Dec 23, 2016
Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tis the season for Christmas carols but at Something Wild one in particular captures our attention: The Twelve Days of Christmas.  There are a lot of birds featured in the song but, like so many of our carols, the lyrics are from old Europe and don’t really speak to life in 21st century New England.  So we thought maybe it’s time for an update… a rewrite… a New Hampshire Christmas carol.

 

We’ll skip over days twelve through eight – those all have to do with crafts people and artisans – and jump right to the important stuff – the BIRDS!

Sean Hurley

We really only have one word for snow.  Yes, meteorologists might talk of stellar dendrites or graupels or aggregates – but when it snows, in English at least, we say "It snows."  But this dearth of words doesn’t mean there’s any lack of ways to think about snow.  

NHPR

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

Here at Something Wild, we’ve been thinking a lot about winter and the different strategies animals use to get through these cold, harsh months. There are quite a few techniques to survive winter if you don’t live in a toasty house with central heating or a roaring wood stove.

The top 5 are:

Something Wild: Winter Weather Wizard, Tony Vazzano

Nov 11, 2016
Susan Lirakis

With winter weather on the way, NHPR's Chris Martin sat down to talk to meteorologist Tony Vazzano, who specializes in mountain weather and snow. His company, North Winds Weather, provides specialized weather reports to ski areas across northern New England.

Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory via Flickr

The North American Wood Frog has developed an impressive strategy for surviving cold New England winters. It doesn't seek warmth as other animals do. The wood frog goes with the cold and actually freeze in the winter months. Come spring, it thaws out, ready for mating season. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The warm winter is having a terrible impact on businesses tied to snowmobiles and logging, says Wayne Frizzell the president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and a Colebrook native.

Chuck Burgess via Flickr

Here at Something Wild, we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain… okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive?

 

capegirl52 via Flickr

Right now the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.  Light enters our atmosphere at a much shallower angle and for fewer hours each day.  To put it simply, it's cold in New England. And as sure as January's cold the usual grumblings from residents about the plunging mercury abound.  It isn’t surprising when you consider how poorly adapted we humans are for living in the cold.  However, adaptations in other species in New Hampshire have allowed them to flourish.  

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