Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Awesome Day

I went snowshoeing to an old haunt, VanHoevenburg Mt. I had never done it in winter but a friend was interested in doing it with me and off we went. Driving through Santa Clara the sky was totally overcast and it looked dubious that we would get any views from the summit but by the time we reached Saranac Lake it had cleared.

I saw something new on the way up the mountain. There were tiny black flecks on the snow and I asked Ron what he thought they were. "Snow fleas" he said. They were there in hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions, all up the side of the mountain. They looked like tiny seeds but as we watched, every so often one would jump. I'd never seen a snow flea before. Now I've seen them beyond count.

The light was not the greatest for photography because we were there at mid-day and the mountain faces South but I shot a few anyway. Perhaps I'll post one or two summit views tomorrow. The photo today is for eArThworm who has climbed this mountain with me in summer. She should compare this shot with the one she took of me at the same location and note how much 'shorter' the register box is in winter. A mild winter at that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

News? What gets Covered

This morning my clock radio awoke me with yet another recap of Jet Blue's problems resulting from the Valentine's day blizzard. That makes 8 days in a row that Jet Blue has been a top story for the national media. Last Sunday Peter Pan peanut butter made the news in a salmonella scare but that story lasted in the national media only 2 days and has all but disappeared from attention.

So why is a story of inconvenience that was caused by weather and compounded by poor management by an airline worthy of 8 days of intensive coverage but a story that is potentially a life and death issue only 2 days? To hear the media coverage one would get the impression that Jet Blue was the only airline that experienced any problems, delays or flight cancellations due to the snow storm. How many other airlines were disrupted? We weren't told. As for the peanut butter, how did they settle on Peter Pan peanut butter as the "strongly suspected" source? Have they tested any of the peanut butter to confirm their suspicions? If it isn't confirmed is the source possibly still out there?

As you flip from station-to-station, whether TV or radio, they are all covering exactly the same stories. Who decides what gets covered? They must all be using the same formula for deciding. One bright spot on the cable is BBC America. I turn there and yes, there really are stories out there beyond the US media's "formula news".

Monday, February 19, 2007

Snowshoeing Again

It was -20° last night and the forecast was for a high around 10° with wind chills of -24° so I hesitated about going snowshoeing again but I bundled up and braved it. There was virtually no wind in the woods and it was actually milder than my last outing. Snowmobilers have found the ski trails and tore up the entry trail down to the river. The St. Regis river is still not completely frozen. I walked along the shore for a bit and shot some photos of the open sections. Someone had snowshoed all the way from town up the river to the State Forest. I walked back up the hill and through the woods (above) to where my truck was parked. The tracks in the picture are mine from a couple of days ago before the last light snowfall. No one had been through this particular trail since then.


Yesterday I went snowshoeing again after shoveling the driveway. After beginning as one of the mildest winters I've experienced (62 of them) the last month has been more "normal" for NNY. In the last 3 weeks I've shoveled more snow than in either of the 2 prior winters. I broke trail for the second time in 3 days but only 2-3 inches this time instead of 5-6 inches. I should have taken my camera. The woods were beautiful. I told myself I would take it today but the temperature this morning was -20°F and it is only supposed to get up to 10°F with wind chills of -24° so I may get my exercise on the treadmill today.