Filed Under (Activism, Climate Change, Winter) by Carolyn Foote Edelmann on 02-24-2011

(and the last shall be first…)

Don’t DARE fall into the pit opened before us hour after hour by the Weather Channel — They would have us decide, “That’s it for global warming!”  Worse, they would have us conclude that this winter is the fault of Mother Nature, our enemy!

On the contrary, every book on catastrophic climate change that I have ever read insisted, back in the last century, that melting glaciers because of CO2 emissions will alter ocean temperatures, ocean currents, aligned air currents, weather patterns, and bring us ever more severe storm in terms of quantity and violence of precipitation, and, indeed, in frequency.

It’s not Mother Nature, folks.  It’s us!

Why has the author of NJ WILD become a hikeless hermit?

2011 NJ snow-realities-l-r-window   Carolyn Foote Edelmann


NJ WILD readers must be wondering why I’m not exhorting everyone to GET OUT THERE on winter excursions. You may remember that last year I gave you Brenda Jones’ Fox on Ice (Lake Carnegie), insisting that nature miracles won’t come to you - we have to go to them.

fox-tracks-by-my-window Carolyn Foote Edelmann


Well, I was wrong.  Even though I cannot even OPEN my front door, deer, rabbits and foxes have come close enough to touch.

andromeda-and-the-night-visitors   Carolyn Foote Edelmann


Below Study Window

I’ve even seen the red fox frolic in new snow, while working at my computer.

But for me, NATURE IS NO SPECTATOR SPORT.  I NEED TO BE OUT THERE, breathing the air the creatures breathe.  Spirits uplifted by their very wings, their winged gait.

snow-high-over-sill-study-desk   Carolyn Foote Edelmann


I don’t believe the scene above, either, and I lived it.  Snow outside was so deep that it reached the sill, rising and rising til over a foot in depth.  That tall black thing is not a shadow.  It’s snow that just kept expanding upwards.  These are not drifts.  This is snowfall.  I can’t go anywhere.

deepening    Carolyn Foote Edelmann

Only the Beginning

In this winter of my discontent, despite living on top of a hill, I have been snowed in to the greatest degree in life memory.  Having grown up in Michigan, and spent nearly five frozen years in Minnesota, I have never seen snow this deep!  More significantly, I have never experienced snow this lasting.  Snowpack is something we delighted in at Stowe, at Aspen, in Zermatt.  Snowpack is not something I ever expected in my own front yard!

Yesterday, I was treated to the sight of my own (gravel, unusable because unplowable, until uncovered) driveway for the first time since driving home from Cape May in that Christmas blizzard.

dark-blizzard   find the picnic table 1  Carolyn Foote Edelmann


Yesterday, February 20, 2011, I carried my own groceries straight in from my own car on my own driveway for the first time since before Christmas.

Then, as usual, WINTER STORM WARNING reared its head.  After unpacking sack after sack of provisions, I drove back up the hill to the landlords’ garage, where my car rests anew;snowbound, again.  Until that snow melts, everything will have to be carried up their garage steps, then down steep stairs to my apartment, before being settled into cabinets.

Again, WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect til noon tomorrow - I must be at work at 9 a.m.  Down the driveway I have come to call my luge.

It squirrels down amongst venerable evergreens, between steep banks of rocky soil, to culminate in a semi-flat area.  I always pause there, before heading out onto traffic-zapped Canal Road.  When it is slippery on the resting place, my car is headed straight toward the canal.  Now I love the canal, don’t get me wrong.  But it has come to LOOM ever since December.

People who live elsewhere do not understand why the winter of 2011 has rendered me a hermit.  Perhaps these pictures explain for me.

snow-depths-through-lr-screen  Carolyn Foote Edelmann


icicles-in-upstairs-kitchen  Carolyn Foote Edelmann


poststormlight  Carolyn Foote Edelmann


I not only am not hiking these woods, I can’t even open the front door far enough to get both shoulders out.  To take pictures has required contortions I didn’t know I possessed.

picnic-for-another-day   Carolyn Foote Edelmann


snow-realities-l-r-window1  Carolyn Foote Edelmann


Occasionally, sun did triumph.  Only to bring new challenges.

wintry-mix   Carolyn Foote Edelmann


Truly the winter of our discontent, and by no means over.

And don’t you DARE fall into the pit which the Weather Channel opens before us, hour after hour, that ghastly phrase 24/7 — that this is Mother Nature, our enemy!   On the contrary, every book on catastrophic climate change that I have ever read insisted, back in the last century, that melting glaciers because of CO2 emissions will alter ocean temperatures, ocean currents, aligned air currents, weather patterns, and bring us ever more severe storm in terms of quantity and violence of precipitation, and, indeed, in frequency.

It’s not Mother Nature, folks.  It’s us!


Dear Carolyn,

Tell the EPA You Support
Its Plan to Curb Global
Warming Pollution!

It is completely ridiculous: right now, power plants and oil refineries are allowed to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air. They heat our world and devastate our communities with abandon and expect taxpayers to shoulder the damages.

The good news is that the EPA is about to change that. It’s moving ahead with carbon pollutions protections - also known as New Source Performance Standards, or NSPS - to limit the amount of carbon big polluters can emit. Supporting the EPA’s standards is the most important thing you can do this year to slow climate change.

Tell the EPA you support its efforts to curb global warming pollution today!

If approved, the EPA’s plan will tackle the lion’s share of dirty power plants and oil refineries and dramatically improve our health and our future as we transition to a clean energy economy.1

Dirty polluters and their pals - like the folks behind the government shutdown in Wisconsin2 - are doing everything they can to stop the EPA’s efforts to protect our health.

Together, we can send a strong message to the EPA to protect our future from climate change. Tell the EPA you support their plan today!

Without accountability for these massive corporations, polluters have free rein to continue dumping pollution into our air and water – and they know taxpayers, like us, will have to foot the bill for their disasters while they keep the profits.

We need the EPA to hold these corporate polluters accountable for their dirty and dangerous actions and make sure our kids have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and healthy neighborhoods where they can grow and play.

Tell the EPA to protect our families from carbon pollution!

Thanks for all that you do to protect our health and the environment.

Sarah Hodgdon
Sierra Club Conservation Director

P.S. After you take action forward this message or spread the word with our handy share buttons below:


[1] “US-GHG Inventory 2011.pdf,” EPA.

[2] “Letter of Support from Americans for Prosperity (a Koch Brothers Organization),” Power Gen Worldwide: February 12, 2011.

2 Comments posted on "THE HIKELESS TIME - SNOWS OF 2011"
Faith on February 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

Your photos are gorgeous, even though the snow often kept you shut in, so at least you put the time to good use! And now the thaw…

Karen on February 27th, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

Spring IS coming. Today, I was surprised by snow crocuses blooming in the backyard, along with snowdrops, winter aconite and many buds on the lenten rose that are just about ready to pop. Under all that snow, the daffodils, tulips and hyacinths have been working their way to the surface. Hoping that we can get out for a walk now that the snows have (mostly) melted. Karen

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  • About Author

                                     by Tasha O'Neill

    Carolyn Foote Edelmann is a poet, writer and photographer on nature, travel, history and art.

    She considers nature in general and the D&R Canal and Towpath in particular her university, mentor and constant inspiration - particularly from a kayak.

    Her quest is the wild that infuses our beleaguered state, the wild out our windows.