Crow’s Nest: Ice and Spring

February 25, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

A landscape in late winter with pasture, wetlands, and hayfields with trees coated in ice in the background

Photo: Daniel Barringer

I always kick myself if we have a beautiful snowfall or ice storm and I don’t try to get photos. Today I made time available for some photos, but I’ll add that it was more breathtaking in person.

First I want to draw your attention not to the ice clinging to the branches of the trees, but to the color of the hay fields. While it is tempting to think of winter as uniformly drab, the fields have gained some coloring just in the last week. Not the brilliant green of spring yet, but a newly-bright yellow that hints at the coming season.

With volunteers I have been working in a hedgerow, clearing invasive vines and shrubs such as Amur honeysuckle, autumn olive, multiflora rose, and Japanese barberry. We created little chipping piles around it, so I’m hoping next week we’ll still have some freezing weather so I can get the chipper out there without making ruts. It’s time for me to wrap up these winter projects because prescribed fire season is coming up and then we’ll be seeding a new pollinator patch and not long after it will already be time to mow trails.

A hedgerow being cleared of invasive shrubs and vines with a power tool being used pictured in the foreground

Photo: Daniel Barringer

The rain froze on the treetops this morning with enchanting effect. Below, the Chief’s Grove surrounded by meadow.

Aerial view of Chief's Grove, meadow, and forest as ice storm clears

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Forest trees coated with ice at Crow's Nest Preserve

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Above, the wooded French Creek valley with more farm fields beyond. Below, the continuous canopy of Warwick Woods coated in ice.

Forest trees coated in ice at Warwick Woods in Crow's Nest Preserve

Photo: Daniel Barringer