This winter brought more snow than usual with the month of February racking up over 100 inches in Boston, breaking snowfall records all over the region. Our snow photos always intrigue summer visitors who only see Cape Cod at 80 degrees. It’s hard to imagine Coast Guard ice cutters crisscrossing the Hole, intrepid explorers out seventy five feet on Buzzards Bay, MBL scientists enjoying pick-up hockey on Eel Pond, ferries dodging ice cakes clogging the Passage, massive navigational buoys drifting like toy boats.
My quest for snow photos typically involves rushing out the minute it starts, as the snow always seems to melt within a few minutes. Not so much for snow photos 2015. We have been covered in a decent blanket since the first blizzard hit in late January. Since then, I have lost count of how many more days it snowed, although I remember Valentine’s Day — soft quiet accumulation all night with a dramatic blizzard slamming like a hangover in the morning. These winter storms had romantic names like Neptune and Juno, Greek reminders of god-like forces greater than us.
In addition to the relentless snow fall, cold air blasted us for most of the month. We now have significant sea ice formed all along our shores rendering the landscape at water’s edge into something otherworldly, arctic. If you have not seen satellite photos of this phenomena, check this out, as it appears to be frozen at least half way across Buzzards Bay.
To keep the harbor open, the US Coast Guard sent ice cutters to maintain the ferry system connecting us to Martha’s Vineyard. Out on Nantucket, a local photographer captured slushy waves that made the New York Times, while here in Woods Hole we watched, mesmerized, as the ice floes and some of the buoys moved through the currents of the Woods Hole passage.
When the Eel Pond froze over earlier this week, the first intrepid explorers were scientists from our local labs in special suits designed to prevent drowning. But once it was proven solid, lots of Woods Hole lemmings (including me) rushed out to experience the feeling of walking and skating in the middle of the village.
I particularly love this birds-eye-view film shot by my neighbor Brian Switzer (a wonderful director and inspired teacher in our local public schools) of Woods Hole in these extraordinary conditions. I think you will enjoy it, and perhaps the snow photos 2015 in my photo essay that follows. For daily photos, check out my Facebook page #WoodsHoleColors.