2008-05-31 14:20:16.000 – Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern


Springtime in New England has always been my favorite time of year. The approach of summer never fails to boost my mood. From mud puddles to late season Nor’easters, the weather of the northeast continues its predictably fast-changing pattern. The sun shines longer and longer each day as the flowers begin to bloom and the trees begin to leaf out. This spring, however, was slightly different for me. I spent March and April adjusting to the gray drizzle of Portland, OR, where I go to school, only to return to New England and come to the MWO, where it was colder, windier, and snowed more in two days than it did during my entire winter in Portland. Not quite my typical springtime experience.

However, as intern Jeff and I ventured over to Mt. Clay yesterday afternoon to take advantage of the nice weather (We could still see more than 1/16th of a mile and it was almost 45 degrees F.) before we went back into the clouds, it was clear that spring continues to trudge on towards summer. Alpine plants are flowering next to the last few dense snowfields. Birds are a frequent sight, especially ravens. Even a few skiers are still around, trying to get in the last few runs before the slopes become more mud-covered than snow-covered. But day by day, the higher edge of the line of green across the slopes of the White Mountains is ascending, and trees continue to leaf out just days behind the latest frost.

Missing from this shift have been the hourly climbs to the windy tower to attack the red railings with a crow bar, sending feather chunks of rime ice drifting towards the eastern slopes of the mountain. Nor have the shovels moved from their perches in the spiral staircase to free our emergency exits from waist deep snow drifts. The variability of springtime in the northeast never ceases to amaze me, but from the inside of this cloud, I can only guess how spring-like this weekend’s rain is in the valleys. Happy spring!


Lisa Hodges,  Summit Intern

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