Winter

Sean Hurley / NHPR

Federal officials say they issued a higher number of citations and fines than usual to New Hampshire employers for exposing workers to fall hazards this winter.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted inspections between January 29 and March 4 and found a number of employees removing snow from rooftops who were not adequately protected from the risk of falling.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Think about the shape of an icicle: it’s pointy at the end and wider at the base. But why are they that shape? The key thing to remember when talking about icicles is that icicles are long and skinny because the tip is growing faster than the base. And there are 3 reasons for why that is:

Every drip, as it travels down the icicle, carries heat away. This is because water is an incredible vehicle for conducting heat. It has the highest specific heat of any material we know of. 

Don O'Brien via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/JJrqM

For people, winter has pros and cons - but for cars, this kind of weather is not ideal.

David Brooks writes the weekly Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and GraniteGeek.org. He spoke with All Things Considered about the effects of road salt on cars in winter - and the simple and not-so-simple ways we might stop those effects before they start.

 

Alexey Kljatov via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/JBzMe

After spending weeks and weeks surrounded by snow piles that are several feet high, it’s easy to forget that those huge piles are made of tiny snowflakes. And no two snowflakes are alike – or at least that’s what we’ve all heard.

While following deer trails in snow you'll find pellets of scat and tufts of hair – coarse grey and white hair, hollow in cross-section. A more coveted souvenir are "sheds” – cast-off antlers.

After breeding ends in December, deer antlers loosen at the base. Once-formidable weapons of territorial defense drop with testosterone levels in January. The shed antlers cast by bucks and bull moose each winter are often promptly buried by snow.

capegirl52 via Flickr

Right now the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.  Light enters our atmosphere at a much shallower angle and for fewer hours each day.  To put it simply, it's cold in New England. And as sure as January's cold the usual grumblings from residents about the plunging mercury abound.  It isn’t surprising when you consider how poorly adapted we humans are for living in the cold.  However, adaptations in other species in New Hampshire have allowed them to flourish.  

Bev Currie via Flickr CC

With wind chill temperatures forecast for 30 degrees below zero and lower for Wednesday night into Thursday, New Hampshire emergency management authorities are urging people to stay indoors as much as possible and dress in layers when they go outside.

Homeland Security Directory Perry Plumber encourages people to have emergency supplies in their car in case they get stuck.

People also should watch for signs of frostbite, such as the loss of feeling or white or pale appearance in fingers, ear lobes and the tip of the nose.

Lorianne DiSabato via Flickr/Creative Commons

The ubiquitous stone walls of New Hampshire often seem to melt into the landscape, becoming transparent as we drive/bike/run/hike/ski through the terrain they once sought to divide.

Some estimates suggest that by 1871 there were more 250,000 miles of stonewalls throughout in New England and New York—enough to circle the earth ten times. Most of which were built between 1810 and 1840.

Flickr

State officials are warning ice conditions are more dangerous than they appear.

After an unseasonably warm December, a hard frost has settled over New Hampshire, coating many ponds and lakes with a layer of ice. That ice may look solid, but in many cases it’s not nearly thick enough for ice fishing or snow mobiles.

Kevin Jordan with Fish and Game says to hike or fish safely you need four to six inches of solid ice, and for snowmobiling you need eight to ten inches.

As volunteers fan out across the state for the annual Christmas Bird Count, they’re likely to see two noteworthy species down from the north this year. Both are named "Crossbills" for unique bills that actually do cross, all the better to pry seeds from a conifer cone.

Busting Ice Fishing Myths With The Fish Nerds

Dec 23, 2014
Word of Mouth

Think ice fishing is old fashioned? Think again! The Fish Nerds are here to tell you that modern ice fishing in New Hampshire incorporates technology, all of the creature comforts you could ever want and a generous helping of fun and camaraderie.

Listen to their conversation, with Virginia, below.

Well, it sure doesn’t have to be. Bob houses and fishing huts can accommodate a heater large enough to keep you warm while you wait for the fish to bite. Dave and Clay told us about a guy who puts a hot tub next to his bob house and stays nice and toasty all season long.

Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tis the season for Christmas carols but at Something Wild one in particular captures our attention: The Twelve Days of Christmas.  There are a lot of birds featured in the song but, like so many of our carols, the lyrics are from old Europe and don’t really speak to life in 21st century New England.  So we thought maybe it’s time for an update… a rewrite… a New Hampshire Christmas carol.

We’ll skip over days twelve through eight – those all have to do with crafts people and artisans – and jump right to the important stuff – the BIRDS!

Here at Something Wild, we’ve been thinking a lot about winter and the different strategies animals use to get through these cold, harsh months. There are quite a few techniques to survive winter if you don’t live in a toasty house with central heating or a roaring wood stove.

The top 5 are:

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Not so long ago, most parents had a pretty simple stance on pot : just say no. But legalization has made the conversation a lot more complicated. On today’s show: how to talk to your kids about marijuana.

Plus, a look at the strange subculture behind the Oxford dictionary’s 2014 word of the year: vape. More on an e-cigarette industry that’s projected to reach 10 billion dollars in the next 3 years.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Birds Of Winter

Nov 20, 2014
Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr Creative Commons

Heading south for winter is tempting for humans even in early November. And while many birds do fly south to escape the New Hampshire winter, a fair number of our feathered friends stick around and brave the snow and cold.

The 2015 Old Farmers Almanac.
Brady Carlson, NHPR

“Blizzards, drought, hurricanes – be ready.” That taken directly from the cover of the new edition of the Old Farmers Almanac, produced in Dublin, New Hampshire and famous for its weather predictions.

Sarah Perrault is Senior Associate Editor of the almanac, and she joined us for a look at the 2015 edition.

Jeff Couturier via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/z1nyR

Winter feels far away right now, but farmers looking to grow winter crops - and there are a growing number of them -  are starting to think about what they’ll put in their greenhouses.

Long Winter Delays Spring Planting

Apr 6, 2014
Pansies
John/cygnus921 / Flickr Creative Commons

The long, cold winter has delayed spring planting in the Granite State.  That complicates matters for nurseries and lawn and garden businesses.  Charlie Cole is general manager of Cole Gardens in Concord.  He sees the late spring as a mixed bag for his business—although he’s optimistic.

“We’re really excited, because the pent-up need to be out in the garden is just building, and it’s still building.  And once our customer base are able to get in the garden and plant, we think it’s going to be a great spring,” Cole says.

Logan Shannon

While it may be March, it’s still very much wintertime. If you’ve been cursing the snow and ice and desperately longing for spring, you’re not alone. But let’s look at the bright side - all that frozen water offers certain opportunities that just aren’t available in the spring. And I’m not talking about expensive and time consuming snow-sports, I’m talking about wildlife tracking. To give you an introduction to tracking, We  headed for the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire with Dan Gardoqui, one of the founders and directors of White Pine Programs, a nature connection non-profit in Southern Maine.


Judy van der Velden via flickr Creative Commons

Wait! Don't wish this winter away...not yet.

Before dirty, old snow banks rot and melt onto sun-warmed pavement; before sweet steam of maple sugaring or green thoughts at St. Patrick's Day; remember one perfect day, when winter took your breath away.

N.H. Sees More Snow Than Usual This Winter

Feb 16, 2014
Snowflake
Mommamia / Flickr Creative Commons

A series of winter storms over the past couple of weeks have had Granite Staters alternating between hunkering down at home and digging out.  

Courtesy Pam Brooks Crowley

While looking for a photo to illustrate a Word of Mouth story on the history of skiing in N.H., I happened upon this gem on Flickr. The photo is of photographer Pam Brooks Crowley's father and his cross country teammates taken in Lisbon, New Hampshire in 1936. 

NHPR / Michael Brindley

With plenty of snow falling across New Hampshire today, kids were, of course, out taking advantage of many of the great sledding spots across the Granite State.

Gov. Maggie Hassan is warning New Hampshire residents to limit their travel during the upcoming winter storm.

courtesy of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics

 

For amputees who use prosthetic limbs, winter weather can pose a range of challenges.

Tom Petrus via flickr Creative Commons

Got snow? That's probably a sore subject for many in New England this time of year, but in the woods, snow is not an enemy--a scourge to be shoveled, scraped and plowed out of the way. In nature, snow is a trusted ally to plants and wildlife. Snow acts as a blanket, a source of camouflage, a form of concealment,  and even a sponge. 

A Snowy Invasion

Jan 24, 2014
Tom Magliery via flickr Creative Commons

This year is being referred to as an "invasion year" for snowy owls, and it might be one for the record books.  

Most of the snowy owl sightings have been along the coast where a flat, open landscape resembles their native tundra. Reports from New Hampshire birders include sightings of up to nine in a single day. On Nantucket, the annual Christmas Bird Count found 33, far surpassing the previous count record of four.

Cold Front To Hit N.H., "Flash Freeze" Tonight

Jan 6, 2014
Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

A blast of cold Arctic air is moving into the Granite State today.  It’s part of the same system that’s put the Midwest into a deep freeze. 

Loon Mountain

With only 6 to 8 inches of fresh powder, most New Hampshire ski areas aren't exactly reeling from the storm.  But even a little snow can bring skiers to the mountains.

Greg Kwasnik, marketing director at Loon Mountain is expecting a surge of skiers.

Up here we didn't have such a huge impact that people had in Southern New Hampshire so I think a lot of people will shovel their driveways and then get up here.  They might get here a little later than they anticipated but I think we'll see some strong business today.

A wintry mix of weather during the Monday morning commute has led to slow going on state highways and about two dozen school delays.

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