Field of Science

Spring thaw and debris moraines

Presently the area is getting it's first significant thaw since mid-December. Since the amount of snow was a local record (a piddly amount compared to snow belt snowfalls) masses of snow got piled in lots of places, sort of small man-made glaciers, and now they are beginning to melt. Melting glaciers deposit the sediments they've picked up in moraines. Now in a very similar manner, as all the snow-pile glaciers retreat, all the crap that was discarded all winter is being exposed and deposited as litter moraines. When you see how much crap has accumulated, you get quite discouraged that anti-littering campaigns have had so little impact, but of course it could be much worse and probably would be if not for a better ethic about trashing the world.  Nature plays a hand as well, and the amount of twigs and limbs that have accumulated over the winter in our yard and gardens is pretty impressive too. There will be quite a pile to discard. Most curiously a couple of large piles of limbs trimmed from a large trunk that spilt from a bit hackberry tree were left on the ground in December. They have largely been gnawed clean of bark leaving nothing but white tree "bones". The spring cleanup will be quite a chore.

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