Thursday, January 15, 2009
A BURR-R-R-R DAY…HOORAY!
When I went out to scatter cracked corn for the ground-feeding birds this morning, the thermometer stood at the 2-degree mark. Barely any temperature at all… Okay, just kidding. I do know better. Zero or a couple of degrees either way on the scale may not be much numerically, but in practicality it represents plenty of cold. Burr-r-r-r-r! Yesterday’s snow had all but played out, with only a few flakes still coming down. Occasionally a puffy glop of snow would dislodge from a nearby limb and fall softly earthward, light and all but suspended, like a dusting of diamonds. To give the weather oracles their due, their predicted 3-5 inches was closer to the 5-6 which I measured around the cottage, and disappointingly short of the foot I’d hoped for and thought might be possible given the what the snow front began. Wishful thinking gone awry again. The river continues to freeze—adding feet to the shoreline ice shelf along the pools and runs, constricting the narrow artery of open water. In the riffle off the front of the cottage, some of the slower water spaces between the rocks are freezing up, which slows the water in ever larger spaces nearby until any open surface water finally disappears beneath a white-ice cap. That won’t happen for another day or two, though if this serious cold persists, it will occur sooner rather than later. This afternoon’s wind-chill is predicted to be minus-25, though the wind isn’t doing much yet. We’re actually somewhat protected here along the river, tucked below low hills to the west and east. Could be we’ll not feel the full force of this deep freeze wind-chill. A good day to hunker by the fire, grill a steak, sip some tea, read a book. Isn’t a snowy winter day grand!