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I know that for most of you across the country, the idea that I would willingly go in search of snow seems ridiculous about now. But there only recently been enough snow at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park for our annual snowshoe trip.  
 

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Snails, fish, insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.
Olympic mountains from Hurricane Ridge (March 23, 2014)
My property line is at sea level, so going to the snow means traveling uphill from elevation 0 to 5200 ft.  Join me below the orange snowshoe track for a look at Spring in the Olympics.

The 17 mile Hurricane Ridge road climbs from an old-growth conifer forest at the entrance station, through montane forest, to subalpine meadows dotted with stands of subalpine fir around and above the visitor center at the end of the road.  Near the start of the trip, we saw Skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus) blooming in the ditches and a fuzzy Black-tailed deer bounding over the road.  By milepost 6, there was already a dusting of fresh snow.  We traveled through a fogbank and emerged into sunshine and blue skies.

Mountain snowpack and glaciers

The wildlife we encountered up at the ridge were mostly birds.  There were Ravens, Gray jays, and Chestnut-backed chickadees.  The Ravens and Jays were shamelessly begging from the visitors.

Gray Jay

Do you think that someone may have been feeding this Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)?  

This may look like quite a bit of snow.

Snow in parking lot March 23, 2014

Snow in Hurricane Ridge parking lot (March 23, 2014)

But this is what the same location has looked like in previous winters.

Snow in parking lot March 19, 2012

Snow in parking lot (March 19, 2012)

This graph from the Office of the WA State Climatologist shows how relatively little snow we've received this winter compared to recorded data since the 1970s.

Snow depth statistics
The SNOTEL site at elevation 5010 ft reported only 6.6 ft of snow on the ground when we were there.  

This is what the weather station at Hurricane Ridge looks like in the summertime.

Weather station location as seen in summer
Your turn!
Sorry if you never wanted to see snow again this Spring.

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