Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow, Meteors and Cold

Downtown River Falls, WI. Saturday morning, 12/11/2010

Just thought I’d check in. It’s been very busy around here for me, and there is no end in sight. Events to attend for the next six days and nights in a row, and by then, I'm sure we'll be getting into the Christmas preparations in earnest. As some may have heard, we received the fifth largest snow fall in history over last weekend. I couldn’t tell you what the official inch count was, but the wind blew much of it into drifts, some of which were knee deep to a giraffe! My old snow blower didn’t work. I’m going out today and buying another one, after morning coffee of course.
I’m posting a few shots of my back yard from the seasons over the past year. It really doesn’t give you a reference of the extreme cold that followed the storm. The coldest night was 21 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, ( I’m not sure what that is Celsius, but I do know they are the same someplace way down below zero).
This is looking out my back door sometime in early October 2010

It has since warmed up a bit and today, it is projected to be a high of 20 degrees with a 30% chance of snow.
Many of you live in warmer climates and I’m sure I’ll hear those that don’t have to deal with cold and snow thanking the heavens that they don’t have to be cold or how fortunate they are and how screwed I am because I live in Wisconsin. Go ahead, give me your best shot. I can take it. After all, I choose to live here. But I do travel and get a change of weather and scenery at least once during the cold dark Winter months.

View of the yard in November 2010

Speaking of cold and dark, the Winter Solstice is just days away. Next Tuesday is the first day of Winter and the longest period of darkness at the longitude and hemisphere of River Falls, WI. It’s also a full moon that night. And an added bonus, there is a total lunar eclipse of the moon! I’m planning on attending a ceremony that evening and it will include a fire.
I did catch some of the Geminid Meteor Shower activity in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, (Monday night). I went to bed early and got up for some middle of the night business around 2:00 AM. I stood by the sliding glass patio window and peered out into the North by Northeast sky. There was no ground light. Some of the predictions were for up to 120 meteors per hour. I stood there for at least ten minutes straight and I saw a half dozen. I took a seat at the computer for a while and made note of what I was doing up at this hour on Facebook, then I went and watched some more.
This photo is from the above referenced article about the Geminid Meteor Shower

It was a beautiful show. Nature usually doesn’t disappoint. I managed to actually put on my fleece lined Crocs and step outside and stand there for a good minute or two and let the cold hug me before I returned to the shelter of my indoor viewing platform. I did notice that on such a cold night, the frigid air comes barreling through the old seal on that patio door. I did get a new door to install, one with high “E” glass, but didn’t get it put in. Now, there is no way I’m opening up a six by eight foot hole in the wall until we get a warm spell. By the way, a warm spell here is temperatures in the 30’s. Thirty degrees in January here is warmer than 65 degrees in Key West in January, trust me, I’ve experienced that phenomenon.
During last Saturdays storm, December 11, 2010
click to enlarge, you can see the tree line as a darkened area beyond the branches.

At any rate, take care folks. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. We actually have furnaces in our homes and stay quite comfortable. We also have heaters in our vehicles and seasonal clothing options that include wonderful items like long johns, thermal socks and flannel lined jeans, not to mention the goose down parka, wool hat and choppers.
What a difference a day makes
Sunday morning, the day after the storm, 12/12/2010

Enjoy your day. Peace to all


english inukshuk said...

your November photo reminded me of this

glad you're keeping warm! there's always somewhere that a draft manages to blow in, isn't there. . . my house has lots of those kinds of cracks


enjoy your seasonal celebrations!

(any post yet?)

Mel said...

Ohhhhhh....well done!
Thank you for taking the brunt of the storm for us. We got off easy!
Though....we did have our turn with the wind and subzero temps. (guess sharing is a good thing...sorta....)

Holy moly I was suddenly VERY grateful--and still am, tyvm.
We got another 6 inches dumped on us today. Made for excellent snowangels and sledding! (both of which I indulged in)

You stay warm, sir. And I'll be sure to catch the solstice activities. I soooooo love the shows nature gives me.

Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

That's quite the winter wonderland you got going on there.

Keep warm & drink that hot tea & coffee to stay warm.

susan said...

We just got the first snowfall that looks as if it might stay awhile but we've been fooled around here before by the temperatures shooting up into farenheits of 40, 50, and even 60 last weekend. I know plains cold is about the coldest so I wish for you that there is always warmth and love where you need it.

I envy you having seen the meteor shower as it rained here that night.

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Love the seasonal references of the same shot!
Below zero. 21 below zero????? You really said that. That is not for me!
I know the storms have been relentless back east. We know your Christmas will be white!

rebecca said...

dear spadoman,

i have posted today with an invitation to continue on sundays....
please let me know what you think, i look forward to hearing from you. i am still swept away at our 12 days together.

(i have also posted something in the mail to you today...finally!)


eaprez said...

We have had bitter cold here as well. The high yesterday was the average low for this time of year - 25. That is balmy compared to what it was earlier in the week. We didn't get much snow thank goodness. Couple inches of dry powdery stuff one day and three inches a couple days later. Enough to take my snowblower out for a couple of test drives. I LOVE IT. I did the drives (Ihave dble) and the walks in 10 mins on my lunch hour one day. I am not shoveling like I did last year. Nosireeeee! I have a couple of pairs of fleece lined crocs too! Just got 'em from amazon - they had a sale so I got my first 20 pairs last week! They are nice for puttering around the yard.

eaprez said...

That would be 25 not minus 25 degrees

mig said...

Lovely too see the season passing through your photos. I especially love the snowstorm and the wonderful peaceful afterwards.
I'm so glad you're well prepared for the cold - we just don't get those kinds of extremes here and we wouldn't have a clue how to deal with it.
Drafts though - we have plenty of those.