Earth Matters : Then, now, and in an uncertain future

By Tom Litwin

On my desk is an old Kodak photo of my Dad and me, standing in front of our home. With snow piled high, we had just finished digging out our driveway — my snow shovel proudly displayed. On the edge of the photograph is stamped 1961, so I was 10 years old. While working at my desk I sometimes drift off into the photo with memories of sledding, snowball fights, snow huts, maple syrup on snow, skiing and coveted school snow days. There are few weather events like snowstorms that are as intertwined with our culture and lifestyle, yet they have humble beginnings.

Published in Earth Matters on December 11, 2020.

Earth Matters : The sub-nivean zone: Life under the snow

By Reeve Gutsell

I hope this not only for those who may be hoping for a white Christmas, and not only for what a lack of snow may imply about our changing climate, but also because snow itself actually makes for better winter living conditions for our small wildlife friends, including moles, mice, voles (and their predators), various insects and an assortment of bacteria and other microscopic life. This is because snowfall causes the creation of what is known as the sub-nivean zone (from the Latin “sub” meaning “under” and “nives” meaning “snow”), which occurs after about six inches of accumulation.

Published in Earth Matters on January 2, 2016.

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