I have lived in New Hampshire now for 19 months. The experiences and the adventures are daily. New England actually has seasons. I have learned the “seasons” are referred to Fall, a breathtakingly beautiful time filled with vibrant colors and mountain vistas that run with contrasting colors and in the North Country of fall foliage mixed with snow covered summits.
Winter, is long nights, massively insane storms, snow upon snow, winter thaws that are short lived, sub zero temperatures for weeks at a time and life hovers single digits to mid 20’s most of the winter season. Between storms are beautiful, bright sunny days that fill the world in a perfect and beautiful peacefulness, the sunlight glissens from the fresh snow on the ground and the snow coats the trees in a picture perfect winter wonderland. We have only about 5-6 hours of daylights for months or really half a year with the most daylight in winter being about 8 hours. The first snows come late November to early December and finally leave by May. If we are lucky, the month of March will tease us, then come April it will snow in feet not inches a few times just to let us know, that here, Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow or no shadow is irrelevant. Here, it remains winter until the Sun decides to produce warmth in addition to light. In other words winter lasts roughly 6 months.
We have a season referred to as Spring. But it is spoken only in these terms to help the mind, there is no such thing as Spring here, there is though, a transformation time, and it happens through the Mud Season, aka Spring. During the mud season, we mire knee deep in mud, slosh through mud and we watch our barren trees, winter mountains and landscapes begin to take on a new life as we watch the trees dot our landscapes in multiple hues of greens, it is a green version of Fall. Vibrant, almost neon greens mix in multiple shades of green hues as life begins to thaw and be reborn. Our days are becoming longer and come March, it’s light outside by 5 AM and we begin to experience daylight for 12-13 hours. It is refreshing, we warm up to 40’s and 50’s and wear shorts, stop running the heat and raise your windows to let the spring air inside. You have to remember, at 40-50 degree days, chances are that is an average 40 degree weather warm up from our winter that has lasted for nearly 6 months. Spring is short, lasting only about 6-8 weeks. When most of the rest of the Country is starting to get very warm by June, New England is still experiencing 30 degree nights and maybe upper 50 degree days. Spring will soon fade to Summer.
In the Summer, we celebrate the perfect weather, first light begins at 4:00 AM and civil darkness comes after 9-10 PM. We have finally reached almost 18 hours of daylight by the end of June. Lakes will finally get bearable warm to swim in, days will be clear blue skies and night time will be starry nights so clear and crisp you can see the milky way with the naked eye. Life is in full motion and the sounds of new life and nature is everywhere. In July, we relish in the warmth, the beauty and the peacefulness of Summer. Enjoy it. Summer lasts for about 6 weeks, and if we are lucky we may get 7 weeks.
New England is a beautiful place, I have learned so much in my time here. I look forward to more great adventures, chasing lighthouses, fresh seafood, beautiful sunsets and starry nights that are ahead in the days to come. Until then, its mornings like this where I spend and hour and a half breaking through thick layers of ice and half a foot of snow just to be able to open the car door that is frozen closed under a thick layer of frozen rain and a days high of 16 degrees. Ah, yes, welcome to New England. There are still 90 more days the snow can fall.