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It's amazing how foreign different parts of the world seem. Here we were comparing notes on autumn and winter in various parts of the world. Brunnen-G is from New Zealand, and the rest of us are scattered around the northern hemisphere.

* BurgerKing has only really seen a bald eagle, moose, and deer, bears, and foxes, when it comes to wildlife.
* Brunnen_G has not seen any of those things, except deer in deer farms
BurgerKing: Deer farms? Ew.
Brunnen_G: Ew? Why ew, any more than for sheep and dairy farms?
Brunnen_G: There are lots of deer farms here
BurgerKing: It's just unusual to me, that's all. Deer in farms, rather than living in the wild.
Brunnen_G: We don't naturally have deer in NZ but they were imported and a lot of people farm them for the velvet and venison. I guess it doesn't seem strange to me because they're not what I think of as a wild animal... like sheep or something.
BurgerKing: Heh. Grouping deer with sheep and cows sounds really strange to me.
Leen: Oh! Sam and I saw three deer in the field behind his parent's house. It was so cool! Sam's dad got them in the scope and everything.
* mamday has see deer, in the road, staring at her car before they got hit
Ferrick: At a place I went camping a lot growing up, they had a deer pen full of deer and we, as kids, were fascinated by them because they burped. A lot. Good, robust burps, too.
* BurgerKing had a bear destroy and eat the beehive they had built to pollenate the farm.
Brunnen_G: WOW. Just WOW, wow, WOW. A BEAR!!!!!!!
* Brunnen_G would absolutely FREAK to be able to see a BEAR in the WILD.
BurgerKing: Hehe.
BurgerKing: Bear cubs are REALLY cute.
Leen: Sam's parents had a bear come up onto their deck and eat all their birdseed.
Ferrick: Bears are cool.
* Brunnen_G would find it scary living in a place with great big huge wild animals that could KILL you
Leen: lol
Leen: Bears basically leave us alone... It's the killer spiders and snakes and stuff in Australia that I'd be worried about.
Leen: The only time bears come around is when they have a food shortage when they come out of hibernation and stuff.
* Brunnen_G lives in a country with no large wild animals at ALL, and no animals of ANY kind that can harm people.
Ticia: I was this >< close to a Buffalo once
Ticia: and a bear came into our campground in Yellowstone and had to be scared off by the Forest Ranger shooting his gun. Scary
* Brunnen_G wants to visit places like that
* BurgerKing 's friend had a bear scratch his front door all up, one night.
* Brunnen_G wants to see bears and deer that are right around people's houses!! That would RULE!
Marvin: Stop by my house then. We have deer pass by our house all the time.
* BurgerKing has deer come around his house a lot in the fall, to eat the apples.
* Help loves animals, they're delicious.
Ayako: My dad sees deer from his bedroom sometimes. And rabbits.
Ayako: When we went hiking to explore the area around our new home, my sister and I found a deer skull. That rocked.
Leen: Last summer we canoed right up to a feeding bull moose
Ticia: we have wild animals living in our garage, too....scary beasts, they are.....CATS!
Ticia: at least, that's what my dog thinks.
* Leen notes that we have tons of deer and moose around, they just hide *REALLY* well, so it's hard to see them.
Leen: I've only ever seen 3 or 4 moose, and about 8 or so deer.
Leen: maybe 10
Leen: Actually, I've seen more deer than that... and I have gotten glances at a couple moose on the side of the road once.
* Help 's dad hit a deer, and when he turned around to make sure it was dead, there was a guy gutting it.
Help: When my dad came he said, "Oh, hey, this your deer, you want it?" ,and my dad says, "Umm, no thats okay," and the guy says, "Thanks a lot, I got kids at home to feed"
* Marvin remember seeing some mooses (what's the plural? Mices?) swimming when he was up there.
* BurgerKing has seen over twenty deer at a time, grazing in a field.
Leen: BG: You will have to come stay with us some summer, and we can camp out up north and watch for moose. ;-)
Brunnen_G: You better believe it! :-) Once I confirm that you're not weird internet psychos during your visit.
Brunnen_G: Or, if you *are* weird internet psychos, at least that you are the sort of weird internet psychos I get on well with. :-)
* Leen notes that there isn't as much to do here as there is in NZ, but we could sure show you the mountains!
Leen: Oh, and we could drive up Mount Washington! Fun fun!
Help: I bet in Maine the only thing you can do is wrestle lobsters out of big tanks.
Brunnen_G: There's pretty much the same amount of stuff to do anywhere. You just have to go looking for it. :-)
Brunnen_G: Besides, you have TREES THAT CHANGE COLOUR!!! That's a whole month's worth of stuff to look at right there.
Sam: There are a LOT of hikes and places to go canoeing and stuff like that, that's for sure.
* Brunnen_G would trade a LOT of excitement for being able to see trees that CHANGE COLOUR!
BurgerKing: But then they all fall off, and the trees are boring again.
Marvin: Then you have to rake up the leaves.
Brunnen_G: Yeah, but after they change colour, THEY FALL OFF! And the trees look like, uh, weird trees without leaves on!
Sam: The trees aren't boring after they fall off! At least they aren't when it snows, because then you've got these trees with nets of branches that are white on top and dark underneath, and that RULES.
* mamday loves it when the snow has just fallen on bare trees though, that is just awesome, even at 6 A.M. despite what her neighbors say
Bigjoekaiz: Sometimes its fun and you run into the trees and it snows instantly cause there's snow on the leaves.
* Brunnen_G doesn't think you guys realise HOW WEIRD THAT IS.
Leen: LOL!
Leen: That is normal!
* BurgerKing must just be too desensitized to notice the weirdness of naked trees.
Brunnen_G: Having trees where all the leaves change colour and FALL OFF once a year!
Beasty: Leaves falling off trees? It happens!
Brunnen_G: Not here it doesn't.
Beasty: Evergreens only, BG?
Brunnen_G: All the native NZ vegetation is evergreens or ferns or, I don't know about botany, other things that don't change colour and fall off. It's only imported northern trees in parks and things that lose their leaves.
Sam: BG: You need to span your New Hampshire visit across our Fall. I guarantee you, even going in with heightened expectations you'll be amazed and floored and consider it the experience of your life.
Sam: Even possibly the experience of YOUR life.
Sam: I can't even *imagine* the splendor of a New England autumn if I didn't grow up with it. It's amazing to me anyway.
* Brunnen_G tries to work out what Sam said "your life" the first time, too
Sam: BG: The first "your life" was a general "you." Then I was realizing that I was speaking about YOUR actual life, which is far more interesting than most of ours.
Brunnen_G: Oh! LOL. No, it isn't really, I'm sure
Leen: It especially rules when we get freezing rain, and they are coated in ice... nothing like that. Of course I HATE the freezing rain, losing power, etc... but it sure is pretty.
Sam: Definitely! Leafless trees *coated* in half-inch clear ice is beautiful.
Bigjoekaiz: I hate it when people run through the snow and mess up the ground. Otherwise the ground looks cool.
Sakura: Snow RULES, especially on trees. It's so pretty...
Brunnen_G: I bet it would be. I honestly would LOVE to visit there at that time of year.
* BurgerKing loves snow and trees and everything.
Ferrick: We don't get the freezing rain here, but one night when it froze, someone left the sprinklers on in the orchard by our school and all the trees were coated in icicles. We didn't know what it was at first. It looked like spiders had encased the trees until we got closer.
* Brunnen_G loves hearing all these beautiful icy nature stories
* BurgerKing has two-foot-long icicles all around the house, and in front of the windows. He thinks that's pretty nice-looking.
* Brunnen_G has been to things like the glaciers in the South Island, but has never *lived* anyplace where it snowed part of the year. That would rule
Bigjoekaiz: When I was little I made a big snow hill and we made holes through it. When it was small holes we put toy cars through and it was like a freeway. When they were big holes we would climb under again and again until the roof caved in.
* Help and his friend were making snowmen one time and got a little carried away. We rolled the body parts up the block, and back down again.
Help: And then we couldn't lift his midsection up high enough.
Ayako: Snow is still a fascinating novelty to me. I've only lived for a couple years in places that have snow.
Sakura: Man. It seems impossible to me that there are people who don't get snow...
Brunnen_G: The one northern Christmas I've ever had, in Ohio when I was 18, was amazing. It was gorgeous. It felt fake, it just was too weird having one of those snowy cold winter Christmases you always see in movies.
* Brunnen_G didn't think that display of cultural ignorance was worth *three* LOLs...
mamday: BG: So you don't have Snow Days then?
* mamday wonders how people survived their school years without Snow Days
Nyperold: Sick days, of course.
Brunnen_G: Oh, I get it now, Snow Days are days off school because of bad snow?
* Beasty only ever had one snow day off school
Brunnen_G: The idea of days off school for any sort of weather is just That would RULE!
mamday: Oh yeah. You bet.
Marvin: It does rule.
* mamday had a Flood Day once too
* Ayako , when living in Florida, would get a day off school every so often because the rain was so heavy it flooded the streets.
Brunnen_G: How do they organise it? I mean, if you get up in the morning and it's bad snow, how do you know whether school is happening or not?
Nyperold: The radio.
Beasty: Listening to the radio.
mamday: The superintendent watches the weather channel and keeps in touch with different people and calls in to the radio and TV channels to cancel school if it's bad.
Brunnen_G: Oh, I see. Wow.
* mamday has gone to school accidentally though when the superintendent didn't call in soon enough
Sam: What's funny about school being delayed or cancelled (sometimes it just gets delayed an hour or two) is that the further north you get, the fewer snow days schools tend to see. We get worse snowstorms, but we're more prepared for them and have the plows clearing the roads early early in the morning. But when we lived in Virginia, a few hundred miles south of New Hampshire, they get all panicky if it starts snowing and delay and cancel school all over the place.
Brunnen_G: Heheh, I can see how that would happen, yeah
Kaz: Yeah, up here I don't think that the public schools were EVER closed to snow. No, wait, maybe once......
* Brunnen_G thinks it rules finding out all about this sort of thing. :-)
Ferrick: Some places have policies for snow days even though they don't get very many so even when the conditions aren't that bad, they want to use those days up.
Kaz: And there are times where there's a foot of snow on the ground on the ROAD before they clear it. Most people are late, but the school doesn't close.
Sam: Uh, wow. You guys need a snowplowing budget.
Kaz: We have one. The plows just came later in the afternoon because they did have to go all through the city, and some of the major roads were more critical to clear.
mamday: Our plowing is fabulous though in town, it's just the places where the buses actually have to go where it doesn't get plowed at ALL
* Marvin 's school never seems to call off school for some odd reason. The only reason they call it off is if all the surrounding schools cancel too.
* mamday goes to a school which once made buses come in over busted power lines and blocked roads
* mamday thinks her school takes too many risks and is glad she doesn't ride a bus
Brunnen_G: I think they closed the schools in Ruapehu in 1998 when the mountain erupted and there were ashfalls everywhere. Does that count as weather?
Sam: I've come to have a strange fascination with what might be termed "terrible beauty." The ice storm in 1998 was like that. The winds were so harsh, and the ice had built up such thick coats around the trees that, in some areas, you could sit in your house and, every couple of MINUTES, here this crack-crack-crack-crack-CRACK-CRACK-CCRRAAACK! sound, which would be a tree breaking in the wind and under the weight of the ice and snow and finally snapping over. That ice storm was GORGEOUS, and yet it DESTROYED an awful lot of trees. Amazing, really. Usually the storms aren't that bad, of course, and you can get the ice-coated tree thing without it being dangerous. But man, that RULED.
mamday: Wow Sam. The NY ice storm was in 1992 I think. My grandmother's trees broke, and I think part of her house got messed up
BurgerKing: I remember that storm. Scary. We were stuck at home without power for four days.
Brunnen_G: Sam: What was this Ice Storm, exactly? It sounds amazing.
Sam: It was just a snow storm that had really really heavy precipitation and high winds, and it came at a time and under conditions where the trees built up these thick layers of ice around them. Imagine something as intricately shaped as a leafless tree with a 1-3cm coating of crystal clear ice all around the outside. The ice coating had built up over the week or two before hand, putting a big weight strain on the trees, and then we had this storm with lots of snow and brutal winds. Anyway, since the ice coat on the trees seemed to cause more problems than the snow, they called it an ice storm. We don't get conditions that cause the ice-coating every winter, but several of them in recent memory have been like that. No ice coats yet --
Sam: -- it's been too cold for the snow to melt and refreeze into ice.
Brunnen_G: Wow.
Sam: BK: Four days? Yeah, a lot of people were. My grandparents, in Maine, lost it for a week or so. Leen and I were lucky. It was bad not very far north of us, west of us, and south of us, but we were in some kind of eye and didn't get it as bad as other places. We had a lot of tree damage, but we only lost power for about a day.
BurgerKing: That kind of weather is just scary, beautiful or not.
Kaz: You know, I think that I remember that snowstorm. It happened here too. I don't recall the actual storm, but I recall walking in the ravine after it and looking at all the poor, broken trees and the ones that were still standing but severly bent under the weight of the snow. Some of them were bent into cool shapes, others were...well....really weird. The icicles that formed later were nice though.
Sam: Yeah, that stuff was beautiful. In a very strange sort of way.
Bigjoekaiz: We had a terrible snowstorm this year. It happened around December 15, and the snow is still a foot deep, and it hasn't snown since! We got about two feet! In upper michigan, they got ten feet. I find it hard to imagine.
Brunnen_G: OOOOHHH!!! Thanks Leen!
Leen: There are more pictures here:
Kaz: Wow. Those look really nice. We only saw a few trees that looked like that.
Ayako: Wow.
Leen: We basically had the same conditions (we are about 1 hour from Sebago, Maine)
Brunnen_G: Ohhhhh, that is SO beautiful!
* Sam thinks this one is cool:
Sam: You really really wouldn't want to be out when this happened.
Kaz: Sam: Hey, that last one looks more or less like what I saw in the ravine.
Leen: I remember driving around looking at all the pretty trees, and the damage. fun fun!
Leen: Oh, and trying to unbury the car from all that ice. Even more fun!
Sam: This is a pretty cool autumn shot:
Sam: And this:
Brunnen_G: Oh, look at those gorgeous trees in their picture of their house!
BurgerKing: That's BEAUTIFUL.
Leen: Um, I don't think I'd have my dog wondering around amongst downed power lines
Leen: pretty
Leen: ooo

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