We took a nordic ski around the field this afternoon– a post-lunch sticky slip walk. Our skis held the snow well. The glide was less than the kick. We didn’t stay out all that long. Snow has been falling on and off all day so hopefully conditions will improve for tomorrow. The warm conditions made for excellent snow sculpturing possibilities, however. My son and I slapped around the white stuff and made a guardian for our home. Here he or she (undecided) stands:
We have more snow this morning. It threatened to turn to freezing rain but we lucked out and got only some sleet mixed in instead. We have been skiing around the field the past month or so and It has been great fun. We took a few laps this morning as the snow fell. I need to do a little driving in it in a few. I hoped it might let up for that part of my day but one takes what one can get.
We have perhaps more weather in store for the end of the week. I won’t complain about that, as long as it is snow. Heck, even then I won’t complain, although I admit I will be saddened to lose any snow we have collected. We’ll have to see what comes.
So my extended break from entering anything on this blog is broken as of today. I woke early this morning, not really intentionally, but I did, I looked at the clock and realized I was in time to get outside and perhaps see Mercury rising just before the sun. It has been rising early enough the past week or so but the skies have not been clear enough to see anything. So I slipped from the warm blankets and grabbed a thick sweater before heading downstairs. I checked the thermometer–5 below zero. I would have to suit up.
With snowpants over my pajama pants, thick socks and a couple of layers on top, I slipped on a hat and gloves and grabbed my binoculars. The snow squeaked on the porch, loudly enough that I thought it might wake the children asleep upstairs. I stepped through the knee-deep snow out to the field. I perched myself next to a birdhouse on a post and scanned the horizon. This time of year the sun rises north of Camel’s Hump, so I looked there, but I saw nothing. I was not sure what time Mercury might rise over the hills, so I waited.
In the meantime I checked the star chart on the Planets app on my iPod Touch. This app shows the rise and set times for all the planets, based on your location. It also shows what constellations are visible. Venus glowed brightly next to Scorpio. I wanted to learn a new constellation, as the ones I know are few. I found Virgo and spent some time trying to burn it into my memory. I had a hard time visualizing that set of stars as a reclining woman, but I got a good look at it.
I was warm enough in all my layers so I kept waiting. I finally did see something in the general area I was looking, but it seemed too far south, and it seemed to blink. I watched in the binoculars, resting them on the birdhouse. It wasn’t exactly a high powered telescope on a tri-pod but it worked well enough. It kept rising and heading further south so after a bit I knew I had my planet. After about 45 minutes in the same spot I headed in. The stars were faded and I could hardly see Mercury. Since Mercury won’t be visible until December, it was well worth rising in the cold and dark. I even managed to stay warm.
Once inside, before the sun rose over the Mountains, the temperature dropped to 7 below zero. Not a warm morning. I cranked the fire and fired up a cafe latte. I sat back with a book and waited for the children to rise. Now, the sun up, the mercury is rising a little higher. It won’t get hot today, but it will be warm enough to play outside for a while. I plan to take several laps around the field on my skis. We have enough snow this year for a great nordic track and we–adults and children–have taken advantage of it every day we have been able to do that. I won’t be getting up quite so early tomorrow, unless I decide to get a ski in before I head to work. Even if it isn’t as cold as this morning, however, that ski just may have to wait until late afternoon.
Rain. That is what we have gotten the past couple of days. Butt. That means the snow has been slowly melting away. Of course, it also means our driveway has gone from way too icy (Daddy! Our driveway is just like the ice skating place where they played hockey!) to sort of icy and also sort of muddy. That is a bonus. At least I won’t slide off the driveway like my wife did the other day. Four wheel drive low comes in handy, baby.
Rain. That is what is falling now. It sounds kind of soothing falling from the eave to the deck. Last night the children and I lie quietly together, just listening. It was soothing last night as well. Too bad it didn’t help them fall asleep earlier than usual. So much for grownup time once they are asleep. Maybe tonight.
Skiing ought to be crappy this weekend. Warm air, more rain, that is what the forecast has to offer. We definitely won’t be doing any cross country skiing in our field like we have been. I finally busted out my skis, a graduation present from my parents twenty years ago, and had a great time zooming up and down. I even knew which wax to use, even though I haven’t used those skis in a couple of years. Red did the trick with temperatures in the 30’s.
Temperatures are still in the 30’s. And did I mention it is raining? I love rain. I just wish sometimes it would hold off until spring really is ready to arrive. It’s a little early for things to thaw. I am guessing we have some snowstorms yet to come. Then I can bust out the cross country skis again. And the children and I will turn on the light over the deck and, instead of listening to the rain, we will watch the snow falling through the beam.
I guess whatever weather we happen to get, I can’t really lose. That’s a deal and a half.