Winter in the Wonderland
Well, winter has arrived. I know for most, this is a reason for concern. Temperatures are dropping, winds are picking up, visibility is low, and roads are getting slick. It is the first snow of the season; and it’s a good day to stay home with a book, a blanket, and a hot drink. And to check extreme conditions from the safe comfort of home.
Here’s what it’s looking like at the west end of the Columbia River Gorge:
It is windy. And cold.
As of 8:27 AM, temperatures at Vista House on Crown Point were +1 degree Fahrenheit with the wind chill. That wind was gusting up to 53 miles per hour. Interested in seeing this data for yourself? Check out our NOAA Weather Conditions at Crown Point:
It is snowing.
What was flurries on I-205 in Portland is turning into snow on I-84 heading east. It’s one of those days where an unexpected gust can slide you sideways a bit, even if you’re only going 35 mph.
It’s also freezing.
And has been for days. Yesterday, the Tundra Swans were feeding in the center of Mirror Lake at Rooster Rock, rumps up in the air. Today, they were ice skating. Joining them in the performance were:
- Hooded Merganser
- Green-winged Teal
- Northern Pintail
- Song Sparrow
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
- Steller’s Jay
- Black-capped Chickadee
Winter is a time of subtle beauty in the Gorge. If you want to see it for yourself, just come prepared for extreme winter conditions. Check the weather and the roads, bundle up, pack a little extra of everything, and play it safe. If, like today, it’s unsafe to drive, wait a day or two. The Gorge will still be here, waiting with a windy embrace.
Posted on December 6, 2013, in Plants & Wildlife, Visiting the Gorge and tagged birding, Columbia River Gorge, I-84, rangers, Rooster Rock State Park, snow, Tundra Swan, waterfalls, winter. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.