The Winter Has Come

The sustainable mantle of snow is a prove of the coming winter. The staff of the reserve says that such an early formation of the snow mantle, which we can observe now, is very rare in the southern Moscow region.

Since the day of the first snowfall, October 29, the territory of the reserve has been covered in a steady snow mantle. And though there were thaws followed by rain, the temporary snow mantle stayed and continued to absorb new snowfalls, strengthened by light frosts.

«According to the data of background monitoring, – says Vera Ableeva, the researcher at the station, – the height of the snow has reached 25 cm by the middle of November. However, thaws and precipitations in the form of rain and drizzle, which occurred at the end of the second decade of November, resulted in the compaction of snow up to 10 cm. Since the end of the second decade of November, the soil began to freeze with the frost depth not exceeding 10 cm. Small rivers of the reserve have been marked by the first appearance of the formation of the ice cover, a so-called young shore ice.»

The early formation of the sustainable snow mantle is a rare event in our region. The earliest evidence of the coming winter was observed in 1993 on October 25 that is a month earlier then this year.

Having conducted observations and a research in the testing areas, the researches of the reserve mark wild boars actively digging the soil in search of food. Animals did not manage to prepare for the winter which has come so suddenly. Roes have to dig out the remaining green grass, birds also find it  too hard to navigate – all the remaining seeds remained under the snow, and there are not enough mountain ash berries. Some species of migrating birds, such as the redstart and the robin, did not have time to leave our land, and now, of course, they will have to spend the winter here.