[CT Birds] New use for squirtrels

Thomas Robben robben99 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 17:50:08 EST 2011


Hey Dave,

Your email below says you will be in the White Mountains tomorrow.   GOOD
LUCK and be careful of frostbite.
Last night at 3am, by coincidence, i woke up and checked the temperatures up
there, and here is what they were in two areas of the White Mountains, about
20miles apart....

1.  Franconia, NH (the town, in the valley, at about 1,000 feet elevation):

-18 degreesF.....     NEGATIVE 18 degrees Fahrenheit (that's negative 28
Celsius), NOT counting the wind and its chilling effect!  And i confirmed
that temp at several internet sites. One can only imagine how cold it felt
in the wind blasting across Franconia Ridge at 5,000feet altitude.

2.  Mount Washington Observatory (http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/),
at 6,288 feet elevation, always open, was reporting   -12F (negative 12F)
with steady 50mph winds on the peak, making it feel like -48F  (negative
48F, equal to -44 celsius)!!

Late January (25-31) averages out (over the last 100 years) to be the
coldest bottom of winter in much of northern USA (e.g.,  as in
Minneapolis... http://www.climatestations.com/images/stories/msp08x.gif ),
and temps should be averaging/trending upwards from now on (excluding
daily/weekly variations of weather).  Good news for a lot of birds and other
wildlife....and mountain hikers like yourself!  Take care.

Tom Robben
Glastonbury CT

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*Subject: Re: New use for squirtrels*
From: "David Provencher" <davidprovencher AT sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 11:40:32 -0500

Eating snow/ice is a source of water for birds in a frozen landscape. Not
their first choice of course but you do what you have to do. Snow is a
source of water in winter for many organisms, even humans. On a personal
level, as part of my safety gear when hiking in the northern backcountry I
carry a backpacking stove to use to melt snow for water, particularly if I
become injured and have to survive a few days until someone comes (I leave
an itinerary with a trusted friend so I hopefully don't do a Ralston or
McCandless).

As for Spring, all this talk of Purple Martins is a bit
premature me, I'll be in the White Mountains tomorrow experiencing -30 to
-50 degree windchills. I may be seeing something purple but it won't be
Martins.

Dave Provencher

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