2009-10-03 04:13:22.000 – Casey Taylor,  Outreach Coordinator

Footprint in the snow

Observer Mike C. may have told me it was a cliche, but it was really exciting to be up here for the first snowfall of the year this week! Though we were asleep when most of it fell, intern Mary Ellen and I were eager to get outside and “play in the snow (aka mostly rime-covered glaze ice)” on Thursday morning. Now, my fondness for New Hampshire winters is still in its development phase, but there is something undeniably special about that first snowfall of the year.

I am on the summit this week to work on some programs with educational observer Stacey Kawecki, and being up on the summit on her shift in this wintry weather has brought back memories of my first visit to the summit last year around this time. When I was hired last November, I was directed to spend a week on top as one of my first duties. As a result, Stacey and Steve Welsh (and Mike Finnegan, who has since moved to the other shift) were the first Observatory staff members that I came to know well, and despite that I still stuck around (just kidding…they were all very welcoming). So while Stacey’s clumsiness and Steve’s wry humor are now familiar signs of summit life, they remind me of that first week when I found myself lucky enough to have a job that required me to spend time in such a magical place. Some things have not changed…Stacey and I still spontaneously burst into laughing fits and Steve still puts his foot down when it comes to singing. Now, a year later, I have been able to witness the changes in Mount Washington over the year, meet lots of great people, and, of course, learn lots more about weather and our atmosphere under the patient tutelage of all the observers (and, of course, Dr. Peter Crane and Michelle Cruz). I still feel very lucky to be a part of the Observatory and to have the job of sharing the fascinating world of Mount Washington with others.

Now I find myself back in the valley, my visit drawn to a close. As always, I had a great time working “upstairs.” This morning gave us a break from the fog and instead brought calm winds and bright sunshine over the dazzling white of the undercast merging with the light coating of snow and rime on the rocks. Upon our departure from the summit, facilities director Bill Grenfell and I had an equally magical sight…descending out of the snow and clouds and arriving into a beautiful fall afternoon; the surrounding mountain slopes bursting with color far brighter than when I went up on Wednesday. October has always been my favorite month, and it seems like this one will be no different!


Casey Taylor,  Outreach Coordinator

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