December 2006 Highland Center

The month started off with a light snowfall and some thin ice forming towards the peaks. Some more considerable snow came down as the first weeks progressed. With snow came more and more animal tracks, red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)and or rabbit as well as snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). Chickadees both black cap (Poecile atricapilla) and boreal (Poecile hudsonica) are busy in the woods. Mid month we added white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) tracks to our list and spotted some blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) flying about. We spotted a martin (Martes Americana) flashing by the trail on a hike to the yurt as well as a domestic dog and not so domestic mouse tracks were added to the list. We can still spot rainbows in winter, from the top of the Elephants Head. As the month comes to an end the ice climbers are finally able to find some ice to cling to down around Arethusa Falls area. Chipmunks (Tamias species) were added to the list of tracks, and moose (Alces alces) tracks around the Ammonoosuc Lake. On our treks to Pondicherry we’ve been seeing turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) tracks. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) are leaving their sign around the Ammonoosuc Lake. And with the last few days the snow finally reaches levels of depth where we can get out and really enjoy the use of our snowshoes and skis, may it last till June. Look at the view that we had from the top of West Mountain which was not too bad, hope that there are a few more days like that one!