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Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning.

Backyard Almanac: Enjoy the Sights and Stay Off the Ice

A winter view of a small pond partly surrounded by leafless trees and conifers
Little Dog Laughed [Via Flickr]

"We go through changes every year in November - November is a remarkable month that way," says Larry Weber. "But, boy, did we see it this week." Fog, thunderstorms, strong winds, and rain have made the month a memorable one... and now both the snow and temperatures are dropping.

The visual changes around us suggest that we're in the thick of winter, but it's important to note that natural bodies of water are not yet frozen. "[The snow] covered the ice on the pond to make it look like it's nice and safe for walking," says Weber, "but I do not recommend that." Any thin layer of ice that may have formed will hold some snow, but likely not a human being.

Although the snow will hide the ice on ponds, it helps to reveal animal tracks. "There are critters that wander around, often at night," says Weber. "We seldom see them, but thanks to the snow, they leave their impressions." And it's more than just identification; actions and habits can also be determined by the dotted-line paths on the ground.

"It's a very good time to get out right now," says Weber.

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