Thursday, January 10, 2013
Murphy the Moose is back. After hearing about so many of his relatives wandering the woods of Sugarbush, he decided to come out of retirement and has been spotted hanging around The Schoolhouse. In the days and weeks ahead, I am sure you will catch sight of him wandering through the base area, too.
After I reported seeing an enormous bull moose just before Christmas on Lower Rumble, we have seen him a few more times around the Gate House plateau and numerous videos and photos have brought him fame. We have also seen a cow moose briefly near Walt's Trail at Mt. Ellen. And last weekend, to the thrill of those on a snowshoe tour through Slide Brook, a cow and her calf were spotted. It is not surprising. One of the great things about living in the Mad River Valley is the wildlife that abounds here. We have many bear sightings during the summer months. Deer, of course, are abundant. Lili spotted a bald eagle flying over the App Gap. Red foxes run through our golf course and beavers leave their mark in many of our wetland areas. Much of the land in our mountains is owned and managed by the US Forest Service and the Valley floor is lined with working farms, which creates ideal habitat for the abundant wildlife we enjoy. I am happy to say that there are many farms and woodlands here that have been privately conserved. And the Vermont Land Trust has been active in preserving important places like Kingsbury Farm and the iconic Bragg Hill Farm, both of which will remain in agriculture. I love to ski Snowball and Spring Fling and admire the view, knowing that inappropriate development will not spoil this special place.
The other news of the week is the impending January Thaw that is expected to begin later today and last through Monday. However, unlike earlier doom-and-gloom forecasts, this one looks like more of a "mini thaw" without much rain and is not likely to significantly reduce the snowpack. So this weekend we will likely experience some really nice spring-like skiing before the weather turns colder again early next week. MLK weekend is shaping up, too. At this point, it looks like a great weekend for skiing and riding and we will have our usual fun events including a torchlight parade and fireworks on Saturday night.
Murphy and I look forward to seeing you soon.