A Brighter Day- UPDATE January 8, 2021

Rime Ice overlookRime Ice at the overlook

Today, began with me feeling brighter and more energetic, and then the whole day got bright as the clouds parted and gave a beautiful white look to the rime-covered forest. In the process I learned something when the meteorologist for Channel 6-TV stated we should not call today’s beauty ‘hoar frost.’ Rime Ice on Red PineRime Ice on Red PineHe said rime ice and hoar frost form in very different ways. Rime ice forms when super-cooled water droplets within fog freeze onto surfaces such as tree branches, pine needles, etc. Hoar frost occurs on clear, calm nights when water vapor turns to ice without going through the liquid state. He said we have rime ice today.

Whatever it’s called, such a day makes people revel in the Christmas-like beauty. Different trees add different dimensions. The tightly branched crowns of red pines are a dense white.

Rime Ice on White Pineon White PineThe more widely spaced dark branches of white pines gave a starker look. The spacing is what makes them so attractive to bald eagles and ospreys that make 80% and 77% of their nests in these big trees despite the fact that these trees that are also so valuable as timber that they are down to their last 2% after a century of near total harvest. Both of these big raptors use the strong branches as perches and to search their surroundings. Bald eagle nests can grow to over a ton as they add to them each year.

Rime Ice on Aspenon AspenToday, I felt good enough to go to the overlook to see the splendor. Forests that were green in summer, colorful in autumn, were at their brightest white today. I found it impossible to adequately capture the brightness and beauty, but the pictures give some idea.

It felt good to get out and see nature, but later I felt the need to rest. Getting better—in part to have strength for a second operation for more stents that should make me stronger mentally and physically for writing the book.

Rime Ice on Red Pineand on Red PineAlso, a den cam is afoot for this winter with the team ready and willing. However, I haven’t heard back from the DNR yet—probably due to the covid affecting their work as it has affected so much else. I very much want to work in concert with the DNR. Over the years, the DNR has done so much to further my research, and I want to share credit with them. Also, with a permit for radio collars and den cams, I’m looking forward to having den cams each year. Several times over the years, various DNR employees have tried to end my research only to be overruled by higher officials who continued my work. That’s what I’m hoping for now. Unfortunately, the conflict of 2011-2014 was led by the DNR’s highest official, the former. I’m putting my faith in the current administration and am crossing my fingers for all that can be gained for the bears, science, education, and the State of Minnesota with cooperation.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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