The crust creates huge lightweight blocks; my children’s snow sculptures and towers decorate the yard. Remember the game of walking across the crust, giggling with delight when you or your playmate broke through sinking deep into the snow? I am not so light or lucky and have to punch my trails with thoughtful determination.
Rodents thrive in the soft pukak, creating extensive tunnels for windless travel shielded from hawks and owls. They easily retrieve their nuts and seeds digging in the pukak next to the ground. Mice create sleeping nests snuggling in the dried grass and leaves. This mixed layer of snow will protect the plant roots through the bitter cold, just as a layered jacket system protects us with a windbreak shell over fluffy down. Place a thermometer under the snow near the ground – the temperature is around 30 degrees F. even when the air is minus 15. Now isn’t that a cozy thought?
Copyright kittycooks, January 3, 2010. Minus 15 degrees at 8:00 a.m.