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March roars in like a lion


Hopefully, by the time you read this, it will not be by candlelight or the light from a Colman lantern. As of March 9, there are still a few spots on both sides of the river without power. On the 2nd of March, a heavy, wet snowstorm hit; this caused trees to come down across power lines and even a few houses were damaged by fallen trees. The damage to the electrical distribution system in the region was extensive. The snow in many areas started as rain, which quickly turned into a fast accumulating snow. Compounding the problem were the high winds that accompanied the storm. A second storm struck on March 5, but it did not have the high winds or the amount of snow as the first storm had.

Many of the trees that came down were conifers, especially white pines. The abundance of needles on a pine tree act as collection points for snow, and each tree can capture an enormous mass of snow. Coupled with the wind, many trees could not stand the weight and wind load and snapped or even uprooted.

Meanwhile, the animals in the wild cope as they have always done; March frequently yields some weather surprises. Salamanders may not emerge as soon as thought on warmer rainy evenings, at least until the snowpack goes down significantly. Most of the eagles lay eggs in this region about now; maybe some of them held off a few days. Those that have already started incubation when the storm hit may be fine, so long as the adults keep the snow from falling in on the eggs. Deer have a tougher time for a few days finding browse, but the snowpack is already compressing, and the forecast for the end of this week promises high temperatures around 50 degrees.

Spring starts in March, and this is a month of transition; spring can come in like a lion, perhaps it will end like a lamb.


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