In the depth of winter, a deep layer of snow quiets the High Desert’s forests. But under the surface, a secret world comes to life. A new High Desert Museum exhibit dives into the snow, where voles, shrews, insects and porcupines build a matrix of tunnels to survive the winter and hide from the predators that lurk just above the surface.
“Under the Snow” will be on display through May 7, 2023. This original exhibit explores the “subnivium” environment, what scientists call this seasonal habitat. In the subnivium, the temperature stays a toasty 32-degrees Fahrenheit, which protects plants and animals from the winter’s frigid temperatures.
Using interactive graphics, visitors will meet the species that depend on the subnivium environment. “Under the Snow” also explores how reduced snowfall and rain-on-snow events are threatening the habitat on which thousands of plants and animals depend.
“The exhibit’s interactive elements are going to offer an engaging experience that transports people into this hidden winter world,” says Hayley Brazier, the museum’s curator of natural history. “’Under the Snow’ will encourage people to consider the snow as a source of habitat when they’re out on the slopes or just driving over the mountain pass.”
To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org. Plan your visit to Bend and Central Oregon at visitcentraloregon.com.