I have been complaining for some time about the unseasonably warm weather. Up until Thanksgiving it had averaged 10-20 degrees with but a few days near 0. That all changed. For the colder. As of Thanksgiving the temperature dropped to -30F and it has hovered near there or just above ever since. It is really cool on a still day to see your breath hang in the air for minutes at a time.
Until recently the rivers were not generally safe to cross. Around Halloween it warmed up and the ice thinned. That combined with overflow created holes, open water and generally dangerous conditions. Although there is still very little snow, only a few inches, it should now be safe to travel. Just as soon as the search and rescue people get done marking the trails they will be safe for travel, though a little more snow would be better.
Something interesting I learned recently. Snow forms differently at different temperatures. In short colder weather, different flakes. This explains why in Washington I had only seen aggregate, gravel, and the cotton candy fluff. People though it was strange when I was wowed by the flakes coming down here. I had never seen true fractals or had the fluffy powder that wisps away and around your feet. I had read Snowflake Bentley and seen pictures but had never seen such examples in person. They were beautiful. Snow truly is spectacular.
I have tried to take pictures and I have tried to preserve them on slides. Both worked ok but lack the stunning results as seen on youtube. It is just too hard to get them in focus. The flakes below were thick and frosted. The really impressive ones are thin and almost transparent adding to the photography difficulty.
The frost which at one point reached 2 inches thick with long spikes, fans and branches (probably also depending on temperature) is equally hard to get them in focus. Just like the flakes it is just too small. No matter how good a picture I get it is a poor imitation of the real thing. Pictures just fail to capture the scale, complexity and intricacies of the designs not to mention the frequency. You may only see one fan in a picture of dozens.
I also set a couple snares just out of town. Nothing yet but here is me all frosty faced coming back from a short walk to check them.