Subnivean

Subnivean is the word for today :”the thin layer of air between the covering snow and the soil with it’s vegetative debris.” At the top of the hike, vole tracks popped up from a blank patch of snow, disappeared into a small tunnel and then reemerged at the far end of the clearing, about 5 feet away. Tromping across the marsh, the dogs and I discovered that the layer of air isn’t so thin. Even with well sized snowshoes I was sinking up to my knees. Closer inspection revealed that the 12 inch snowpack was riding along an upper level of old cattail leaves, leaving a 10 or 12 inch airspace above the ground layer. Interesting the think about the life and death activity below this seemingly quiet and serene expanse of marshland.

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