Winter At Last

Winter was treating us so well this year, as the weather warmed and the days felt and looked almost like spring.

Then, being it’s New England, things changed.

Just in time for the first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary, we were treated to 10 inches of snow, followed by even more snow leading up to Primary Day. It’s almost as if in one week we found ourselves in a game of catch-up.

Time to make snowmen, to try not to slide off the road, to get out the snowshoes and the cross-country skis, and to deal with plowing mud in the driveway.

And an added oddity – local sugar producers were out tapping trees in the warm daytime temperatures at the end of January and start of February, and managed to boil some maple syrup before having to call a hiatus when the colder temperatures returned.

Adventure is what winter is all about, and events coming up invite us to venture outdoors to enjoy what the season can offer.

Londonderry hosts its annual Musquash Conservation Area Field Day on Feb. 13. Attend this free event to learn about the outdoors in winter – information about local wildlife and winter botany will be offered – as well as to enjoy the conservation area with its opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

And the day includes one of the highlights of winter festivals – refreshments around an open fire.

Don’t stop there: conservation areas in all of our towns are equally fine settings for winter snowshoe and cross-country visits.

Derry’s annual Frost Festival, which was questionable a week ago because of the lack of snow, is on schedule for the weekend of Feb. 12-14 with a wealth of outdoor events. Whether your taste runs to sledding or snowshoeing, the Frost Festival offers plenty of free fun.

There’s a theme here. We live in an area replete with opportunities for winter fun – and you don’t have to spend your money on ski passes to enjoy it. Plenty of outdoor activities can be had for little to no expense right in our own backyard – and you get the benefit of enjoying the stark but striking winter landscape and getting exercise at the same time. Just bundle up and be careful.

And if you like looking ahead, check your mailbox – you just might find seed catalogues among the political ads. If staying warm indoors is your activity of choice, now is the time to think about a garden. After all, spring is right around the corner.

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