Posted by: Inner~Creative~Voice | March 10, 2008

Woods Walk…Wondering…

My eldest son and I went walking the other day and noticed something. The snow was forming circle shapes around the bases of the trees.  We came up with theories as to why this was happening.  My son thought perhaps the warmth from the roots or base of the tree was melting the snow and creating the circles.

But then…

We saw metal poles…and the same circles were forming!  How could this be?  We had to re-think our original theory…we then looked around and saw the same circles also forming around the bases of wooden posts and ( a bit different shape) around just about everything that was embedded in the ground.

What do you think?



  1. Hi
    Maybe it’s that, the snow is deflected from the post as it falls, so not as much of it lands right next to the base.

    : )

  2. Great theories, all of them! Heat is conducted differently in different mediums. My theory: Wood and metal conduct heat from the sun, melting the snow away. You’ll see different shapes based on how much sun the conductor is receiving, and what it’s made of (wood, plastic, metal, etc). From your pictures, the snow is melting from the top down, not the bottom up. Also, had it been raining? Another theory is that rain will collect on the tops of trees and metal poles, streaming down the sides and melting the snow away at the base more quickly than snow not surrounding such an object. LOVE science. So much fun!!

  3. Great! I will share with my son…wow! Love the thinking:)

  4. I don’t know the reason but here is another fact about those rings. A friend of mine used to tap maple trees each year and told us that when those rings appear, that is the time to tap the trees. Hmmmm. We need a botanist.

  5. Hey Swimmer,
    Maple tree tapping…gets me to remembering that we wanted to go to Blandford Nature Center with the boys this weekend…and now that we know that the “tree rings” are right…looks like a plan!
    Thanks for this info…

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