January was a bit unusual because there was limited snow, but lots of ice. On the snowy days, the temperatures were mostly at the freezing level so the snow melted at the beginning of the storm, but froze as the day went on. After that, the temperatures would plunge and the ice stuck around. There were lots on nights when the temperatures were below 0 F and the winds were high. This is a picture of our temperature gauge that Wendy grabbed about 2:00 in the morning - a wind chill of - 72 degrees - that's pretty cold!

Probably the average snow depth was about 12". In January those hills in the background would be white, but not this year. Mt. Washington is just to the right of that fir tree, and its un-treed summit looks bare. The ski areas are doing reasonably well on those trails that have snow-making guns, but not the wooded trails. The Jackson X-C trails seem to be doing well - thanks to the plowmen. .

Wendy came home from an evening meeting and was greeted by a huge mudslide with lots of rushing water. This had never happened before in our 17 years of living at High Meadow. There is a brook that comes down the mountain at the top of that hill and then makes a right turn and goes in back of the barn. I have to clear that stream bed every year to make sure the water makes that turn. But after looking at this slide, and the junk that was in the driveway, it appears that all these leaves and mud came thru the trees, not the brook, and just crashed down the hill. I moved all the junk to the snow pile and we'll wait until April to try to get rid of it.

In early February, Wendy and I went down to Venice, FL to visit cousins Molly and Peter Taylor. Anita Shannahan from Bethlehem, PA was also going to be there. As you can imagine, at this time of year, Venice is crowded with hoards of decrepit people, aka snowbirds. We stayed at a separate inn and spent most afternoons trying to find un-populated places to walk. How about this place? This was just south of Venice on Harbor Drive, looking north. If we turned around and went south toward Sharky's Pier, we would have been inundated by people combing the sands looking for shark's teeth.

Every night, after cocktails, Pete, an experienced fisherman, would suggest a new restaurant for us to have dinner. Here we are - somewhere. From left to right, Pete and Molly Taylor. They used to live on the eastern shore, along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, but permanently moved to Venice about 5 years ago (where they had wintered for years and years). Next, Anita, who lost cousin Tom last September. Anita is doing well at the Kirkland Village senior home in Bethlehem. Next Karen and Jim Taylor - Pete and Molly's son. Both Karen and Jim work at the US Post Office in Venice - we spent one night at their house in So. Venice. Then, Wendy and me - snowbirds.

After our one-week trip to Florida (where Wendy did all the driving) we came back to Jackson and tried to get our 45-minute walk in every day. Only if the temperature is less that 10 degrees or the wind is too high, do we have an excuse to stay home. We usually walk behind the Wentworth on roads that serve the condos and are extremely well-plowed. To the right of Wendy is the golf course, which is used in the winter by the Jackson X-C Ski course. One afternoon a week, the Jackson Elementary School has activities on that course for all the kids. It is interesting to try to figure out what the contests are, but all the kids love it.

January - February 2018