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3 Mar 2008
"Do Y'all Still Have Some Snow Left in VT Now?"
That's the question I got from a wonderfully cheerful person somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line who had never seen snow and was calling in early March. He wanted to know if he had missed the snow this year or if there was still time left to travel to Vermont and see snow. I was happy to tell him that most years we get the greatest amount of snowfall in March compared to other months.

Most of the people I speak with are surprised to hear we get more snow in March. When they are seeing the beginning of Spring where they live, Vermont is building to a grand winter finale.

To see what I mean, take a look at Stowe Resort's five year weather history. Not only is March the snowiest (I guess that is a real word), but it's the end of the month when the largest amounts of snow are falling. The last week in March averages 32 inches at Stow, far more than any other week there.

Stowe's Snow Report shows 309 inches of snowfall so far this season, just short of the season average of 327 inches.

It's been a great year for skiing and other winter activities but don't feel that you have missed it if you have not been here yet. There is plenty of snow here for you to enjoy and more is on the way.

In fact, this is a good time of year to enjoy winter. The days are longer, temperatures are higher, and there aren't as many people skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, etc. I wish more people were aware of how good it can be here in March. It would be great to see the ski areas and the Vermont's Department of Tourism getting the word out about March. I'm sure more people would come if they knew what it is like here this month.

For the more technically inclined, and maybe a few inexperienced skeptics, you can view a current snow depth map from the National Weather Service to see how much snow you can expect when you travel to Vermont or other New England states.

The areas in dark blue represent depths of 20 to 39 inches (50 cm to 100 cm), and the purple lines, which you can see run along the mountain ranges, represent 59 to 98 inches (150 to 250 cm). Those are current snow depths, not the amount that has fallen this season. The map is updated every day.

Plan a trip to Vermont and enjoy this great winter season we will continue having for the next month.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , General , Nature
posted by  grunhaus at  21:16 | permalink

10 Nov 2007
Vermont Transitions from Fall to Winter

I'll make you a deal. If you spend a few hundred dollars to travel to Vermont, in exchange we will give you million dollar views that will return your investment many times over.

Here in northern Vermont, we are moving quickly from fall into winter as this photo illustrates magnificently. It was taken yesterday afternoon from the Burlington area looking east toward Mount Mansfield. This is all natural snow and on the other side of the mountain, Stowe ski resort has been busy the last couple of weeks making even more snow to build a deep base for the skiers and snowboarders. The resort opens its trails November 21.

That bump on the right side of the mountain ridge line is known as the "nose" and the larger lump on the left side is the "chin."

This photo is from "Hugho" who posts a photo every day on his Megapickles photoblog. There is a link to the blog in the left column of this Vermont Travel News blog too. You should go to his blog to see the full size version of this photo. I also recommend you spend some time poking around the archives to see the great diversity and talent on display. I look at it every day and am always rewarded with a new and beautifully rendered photo. Most of them are taken around northern Vermont with a rare foray into, for example, a nearby area such as the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  20:09 | permalink

10 Aug 2007
The Great Perseids Meteor Shower

Perseids photo courtesy NASA

The Perseids (PURR-see-idz) meteor shower is going on now and is expected to peak between Sunday August 12 and Tuesday August 14 when there will be about a hundred visible meteors per hour.

This year should be an especially good time to view the streaking lights in the night sky because we will be in a New Moon period when there will be no moon visible. The best places to view the meteors are in rural locations where there is little or no light pollution from cities. A place like Vermont for instance, with the added benefit of cleaner, clearer air, plus some high elevations if you would like.

According to NASA scientist Bill Cooke, "It's going to be a great show."

The place to start looking is in a north easterly direction starting around 9:00 pm on Sunday. This is when "Earthgrazer" meteors will be approaching from the horizon and hit a glancing blow (a "grazing" type of hit, thus the name) against the earth's atmosphere. The friction will light them up like a match striking sandpaper. Earthgrazers are slower and more colorful than other types of meteors but they are rarer too.

As the constellation Perseus climbs higher in the night sky, the frequency of the meteors will increase and, at its peak a little before dawn, you will see one or two per minute.

Enjoy the show whether you can make it to Vermont or not

Sky map of the constellation Perseus courtesy of NASA

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus except the photo and map
Nature , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  18:02 | permalink

28 Jun 2007
Vermont Gardens and The Vermont Gardener Blogs
For the past month or so, I've had a link over in the left column to a blog called The Vermont Gardener. I've been meaning to write an entry about it for quite some time and now I'm finally getting around to it.

The Vermont Gardener is written by a perennial flower grower named George Africa. Or should I call him a farmer rather than a grower? Would he call himself a farmer? I know he owns a new tractor (I'm a little envious of that) and he sells the plants he raises so I think it's an accurate term but I'll have to ask him. And his business is called the Vermont Flower Farm.

It is one of the most enjoyable blogs I read and I look forward to the stories and the photographs. The only problem I have with the blog is that it makes me feel like a complete slacker. Our gardens look puny compared to his and reading the entires about the projects he has makes me want to get back to work just to keep up with him.

George has a job away from the perennial gardens but he must work another 40 hours a week around his property nurturing his perennials. His wife Gail, Alex, and Karl the wonder dog are involved with the business too.

Their Vermont Flower Farm is located about 45 minutes from us in a town called Marshfield (Google Map). I can't wait to get up there for a personal visit because the farm looks so beautiful but also because it's one of my favorite parts of Vermont and I have not traveled his road yet. The farm welcomes visitors and the plants are available for purchase or just for admiring.

The website is extensive and includes such items as tips on building a hosta garden, deer control, invasive species, building stone steps, virtual tours of the gardens from recent years, and an order form if you would like to purchase some plants online.

This is a great part of Vermont to visit. It is near the state capital of Montpelier, and not too far from Interstate 89 which you will likely find yourself on at some point in your travel here.

The town of Peacham is nearby and is one of the most photographed areas of the state. Don't miss Rainbow Sweets in Marshfield, one of the hidden gems we like to tell our guests about. I'll write an entry about them someday too but for now, trust me, you will be knocked over with the taste of their pastries. The owner is a memorable character too.

Another favorite spot of mine is the Molly's Falls Lake at Marshfield dam on Route 2 a few minutes north of Marshfield village. It's a beautiful lake undisturbed by development, surrounded by heavily forested hillsides, and it has a small parking lot and picnic area. Don't forget your camera - you will want to record your visit. You will have to double back a little bit on Route 2 to get to Vermont Flower Farm.

I'm pretty sure George must only get a few hours sleep each night because in addition to his job, his garden, his business, and the Vermont Gardener blog, he also has another blog called Vermont Gardens. Both blogs have lengthy and frequent entries.

Even though I am trying to finish the mother of all remodeling projects, I'm very much looking forward to taking some time off to get up to Vermont Flower Farm.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  21:56 | permalink

5 Jun 2007
June is Birding Month in Vermont

Goldfinch photo from Wikipedia

One of the things that virtually all our guests enjoy to one degree or another, is seeing the birds around our inn. We have a large window (actually seven pieces of glass) about 20 feet long and seven feet high. We have three bird feeders outside the window which are visited by a lively and colorful array of gold finches, blue jays, house finches, black capped chickadees, nuthatches, and mourning doves. We get the occasional rose breasted grosbeaks, evening grosbeaks, and orioles. Many of our guests have never seen a hummingbird and are fascinated by the flashy, iridescent ruby-throated hummingbirds which we get at the feeders all day long.

If you are a casual bird watcher like most of our guests, or even an advanced birder, Stowe Vermont and the surrounding area would be a good place to visit this month.
The village of Stowe is sponsoring "Wings Over Stowe," a month-long series of demonstrations, exhibits, walks, and films all focusing on the vast array of avian wildlife in the Green Mountains.

The website includes details about each activity, and there is a well done calendar of activities, plus a downloadable brochure with schedule, and a very helpful Stowe birding map.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
posted by  grunhaus at  21:18 | permalink

13 Jan 2007
Vermont Nature Photo
An misty winter day in Vermont . . .

I have written in this blog about "Megapickles, " one of my favorite Vermont websites, where I found the photo above. It's actually a photo blog by an unamed Burlington area college professor. I have a link to it in the left column of my blog.

This spectacular photo was taken near the town of Townshend, a little north of Brattleboro in the southern part of the state. I had to reduce the size, so to get a full appreciation of it, go to the web site at Megapickles Townshend
posted by  grunhaus at  17:22 | permalink

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