The End of Winter, 2016

Dead Spruces at Cascade (Fujifilm XT-10, XF55-200mm f3.5)









As I have written before; It’s been an odd winter.

And nowhere has that been more evident than the Adirondacks

We just returned from our annual family ski trip to Lake Placid, which we take generally during the first full week of March, timed to our kid’s school, and now my son’s college spring breaks.

That time of year is usually my favorite for skiing. In the 18 or so years we have been doing this, early March is ideal, with robust snow cover(best of the year) milder temps, and excellent conditions, whether at Whiteface Mountain, the cross country ski centers, or in the back-country. Even if there’s little cover at home, you can count on the Adirondacks.

Shed and Algonquin, Bear Cub Road (Fujifilm XT-10, XF 55-200mmf3.5)

In March, the winter gear goes on sale at the local EMS, and ski shops, and yet the town is still bustling with winter vacationers.

Not this year. This year there was essentially no snow. I don’t mean that the snow is a little thin in spots.

Artist at Mirror Lake (Fujifilm X100t, TCL X100)

I mean no snow. And it has been this way for most of the winter since I was last there in early January.

This trip to the high peak region was like visiting in late April.

In towns there was bare grass on the lawns. In the forests, at least below 3500 feet, the only thing frozen were icy ribbons marking the trails where hikers packed what little snow there was. I actually hiked at my favorite cross country ski center, seeing it for the first time without a thick cover of snow. I needed “microspikes” however to deal with the ice.

The Railroad Bed (Fujifilm XE2, XF 35mm f1.4)

There was a burst of wet flakes early in the week, but the thin coating succumbed  quickly to the unusual temps

Many stores were closed, the shopkeepers migration to southern shores moved up, given the lack of business.

Temperatures that some weeks ago stayed well below zero during the day now flirted with the 60s. This provoked flooding and dramatic ice flow accumulation on the banks, dwarfing the same phenomenon I had witnessed back in Pennsylvania.

Ice-out on the Ausable (Fujifilm X 100t)

There was actually good downhill skiing to be had at Whiteface, but the warm temperatures threatened to close slopes and bring the season to a premature end.

As I write this at home in the Pennsylvania Mountains, the sun is shining, the grass is greening up, and the predicted high temperature is again around 60. My skis are put away and I no longer care for snow.

Another Nescopeck Vernal Pond (Fujifilm X Pro 2, XF 35mm f1.4)

I think of taking the snowplow off of my UTV.

But nature is cruel, and this is spring in the Northeast.

I think I’ll wait a little longer.


Just a Reminder: you can left click on the images  to see a larger version. Better yet you can visit my Smugmug site here.

About henrysmithscottage

Henry F.Smith Jr. has been involved in photography for 35 years. He has become well known as a chronicler of the Eastern US landscapes , though his portfolio includes, portrait, event, and "street photography". His work has been displayed in multiple galleries throughout the northeastern US, and is available for sale for use in public and commercial spaces. His book "Pennsylvania Seasons" is available through major booksellers. He is also a writer and editorialist whose work has appeared in a variety of "daily's" in Pennsylvania. "Dr. Smith" is also a Pulmonary and Sleep physician who practices in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is happily married, with two wonderful children. Inquiries to purchase prints, and for photographic services can be made through:
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One Response to The End of Winter, 2016

  1. Anneliese Moghul says:

    I wouldn’t put the snowplow away yet…When we arrived in Tupper Lake for the interview, we missed the village–went right through it, because the snow mountains were so high.


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