Posts tagged: winter
CRITTERS — While winter — and winter-like spring weather — is an inconvenience to many people, it's the ultimate test for wildlife.
Deer can deal with a tough winter. However, too many tough winters in a row and put a local deer population into a decline that may require years to reverse.
But the occasional brutal winter allows only the hardiest to survive and pass along those survivability genes, leading to a hardier species in the long run.
Humans need to be wary of weilding a heavy hand on wintering wildlife. Nature didn't prescribe trains and trucks to slaughter game forced onto railways and roads by deep snow.
On the other hand, nature might frown just as much on humans feeding and rescuing critters that are not passing the test of natural hardships.
NATIONAL PARKS — This video offers a fascinating glimpse at the flow of frazil ice in the stream below Yosemite Falls. National Park Service rangers say this is just one of many attractions that occur in national parks only during winter before the summer crowds arrive.
NORDIC SKIING — Two great ways to meet up with the area's cross-country skiing community are coming up:
WILDLFIE WATCHING — Todd Klement, who lives in Spokane west of Highway 195, bought himself a pair of snowshoes for Christmas, and this morning was prime time to try them out in 9 inches of fresh powder and 0 degree temperatures.
He didn't have to go farther than the edge of town to find a national-park-like wildlife watching experience.
Snow and bitter cold have a way of making wildlife more available to our viewing pleasure as the animals congregate in lowlands near food sources.
In a few hours of hiking, Klement saw white-tailed deer, fresh moose tracks, numerous birds and a porcupine.
“I know the porcupine picture is blurry,” he apologized in an e-mail, “but have any of you tried to get a porcupine to stop when he doesn't want to pose for a picture? Very uncooperative.”
Former Spokane residents Torsten Kjellstrand and his son, Bjorn, reach to their Swedish roots to demonstrate a few basic skate-skiing techniques to try on the groomed cross-country ski trails.