Just to give you an idea of how snowy our winter has been, I heard on the news this morning that we've had 72 inches of snow so far. Normal for the whole season is about 44 inches. Last year, we had only 25 inches. Recent storms have added a few inches, but they were tamped down by rain. Another storm is due on Monday, so the beat goes on.

Here is what the Branch looked like before the last snowfall. Unfortunately, these mud flats have been quiet as there is a closure for the digging of clams which is a concern. You will notice the floats that have been pulled ashore. These are from the Yankee dock, I believe. Not much is going on these days at the campground. Though the winter has been harsh, we haven't had a lot of wind damage. Last year, we lost many trees; not so this year. The porcupine is doing more damage than the wind!

We had about 6 inches of new snow on Wednesday morning..then it rained hard most all afternoon. The result created an interesting pattern on snow surfaces. The picture to the right was taken of a flat surface where these mounds looked like un-cut cookies or bunched mushrooms. I had never seen this phenomenon before and found it fascinating.

Yesterday, I was down at Cat Cove in West Point to get some fresh saltwater for the animals I've been keeping alive. This is a public launch site, and one of my favorite areas for scouting out animals. In this picture, I am looking over toward Hermit Island and Bald Head in the distance. The waves were breaking in this little cove, which was a bit unusual. I picked up a few live mussels that had Kelp holdfast attachments, and also live Slipper shells on board. This cove is also a fun place to watch the sailboat races since their course usually takes them past this point and out around a buoy off Wood Island. It's quite a sight when their spinnakers are moving the boats along at a brisk clip. No sailboats are on the water these days, however.

I didn't forget, but this is Valentine's Day! I'm sure people were out drawing hearts in the snow and sand. Here is a valentine for many of those things, used to make the heart and arrow, can you identify? As a hint, there are some items that were never alive!


2/14/08 From the heart, Ronnie :-)