While snow had been forecast for the region, it was questionable as to whether or not it would snow in eastern Howard County. The forecasts changed and snow was anticipated. And indeed, it snowed! We needed to be in Columbia so decided to walk around a bit to check out the snow.
Parks in the region tend to close when it snows. But Lake Kittamaqundi shares a parking lot with Whole Foods and other businesses so it is always accessible. It was snowing at a good pace when we arrived and all surfaces other than roads and walkways were covered with snow.
The first thing we noticed was this slide at a new playground that opened recently.
A snow covered railing showing that there really wasn’t too much accumulation overall, less than an inch. But it was sticking quite nicely to the cooler surfaces.
The Rouse brothers, founders of Columbia, Maryland, continuing their everlasting discussion in the snow.
The floor of the Lakefront Pavilion was covered with snow. Its surface must have been cooler, likely because it is an elevated platform over the path below.
This row of trees really stood out with just a light layer of snow sticking to each branch.
There were some fresh, possibly recently planted, flowers on the ground. They were all covered with snow though a few peeked out.
This small tree looked a bit out of place! Quite a bit of yellow in an otherwise very white landscape.
A few distant views that show the snow actively falling. While clearly not a blizzard, the flakes were large and falling rather fast!
Patapsco Valley State Park
We also ventured to a small portion of Patapsco Valley State Park that is accessible via a small parking area along a public road. They love to close this park any time there is a tiny bit of snow so we didn’t want to risk going to one of the larger entrances and having to turn around.
We were planning on just walking around and enjoying the snow and taking a few photographs. We didn’t anticipate the level of bird activity that we saw! Unfortunately, we only had a 100mm lens on us, not really good at all for photographing distant birds. We did get a nice look at this Pileated Woodpecker though! We saw this very large woodpecker multiple times as we walked around. Perhaps the same individual, perhaps not.
The Red-Bellied Woodpecker was also captured in this image, an attempt at something a bit more creative. Besides these woodpeckers, we also were able to identify Dark-Eyed Juncos, quite a few American Robins, a Tufted Titmouse or two, at least one Eastern Bluebird (a female that hovered in place for a second or two after almost flying directly into a tree trunk), and possibly a Carolina Chickadee (too far away to really tell without a telephoto lens).
Patapsco Valley isn’t always the most photogenic place in the winter but it sure looks nice when its snowing!