Illustrated Bites of Island News

Jim Cerny, reporting and photography

Public occurrences High tea Looking for spring Spring blizzards Quick index to back issues

Public occurrences

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High tea

Once I couldn't even spell "H-i-g-h  T-e-a", but that all changed after observing the Valentine's High Tea at Henrys' Market!



Three generations of Spaulding women on leaving the Tea: Emilie Spaulding, Isabella Stewart, and Susan Spaulding.

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Looking for spring

Last year's bird nest, at the edge of a marsh, incorporating a piece of plastic. Probably that of a red-winged blackbird.

A female mallard in the Portsmouth South End where the ducks and swans like to gather.

The old wagon at the Wentworth Hotel on the morning after a snowfall on February 16.

The morning after the great February 25 wind storm at New Castle Beach, looking south. Mother Nature is rinsing the beach! Click on image for a larger view.

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Spring blizzards

Late spring blizzards often find a place in lore and legend and the most famous is the blizzard of 11-13, 1888 (Blizzard of '88). This was really a storm of the southern Hudson River Valley and Connecticut River Valley, with extreme cold, wind, and over 40 inches of snow in places, paralyzing New York City with spectacular drifts of heavy snow, leading to dramatic accounts of rescues.

An old-fashioned snow roller, used to pack the roads for travel by sleigh this one is in the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum.

The most remarkable late season storm that I have experienced in the Seacoast was in early April and is little remembered, perhaps because it has no special name and because snow melts so much more quickly then. We had over a foot of snow, high winds, and temperatures around 20F on April 6-7, 1982. The snow was very dry and after the storm passed and explosively intensified over Nova Scotia, the wind blew it in great clouds the next day, some 15 feet in the air with extreme drifting. The landscape was indistinguishable from mid-January except for the angle of the sun.

Weather map for April 6, 1982 at 7 a.m. EST. (NOAA Central Data Library Imaging Project)

The latest I've ever seen snow fall and stick to the ground was on May 18, 2002, through the Durham-Dover area and northward. Yes, I said May, gasp!  It was a Saturday morning with cold rain that gradually shifted to snow and for about an hour it snowed and accumulated on grassy areas and the leaves of trees! Of course it melted almost immediately when the snow stopped. Looking at the radar imagery at the time, it appeared that the rain drew down a pool of cold air from higher levels, centered on the Winnipesaukee area, that then spread out in a large circle, making it cold enough to snow for a while.

Snowing in my back yard in Madbury about 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2002.

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March 2010