Friday, December 11, 2009

A Winter Wind

The wind whipped into a frenzy yesterday, racing across the country and blowing fierce cold air into New England. The oak leaf still holding fast was tossed about like a cowboy on a bucking bronco.

The rock polypody living on the cold, north side of the boulder
is curled against the weather.

Meanwhile, a short distance away,
other polypodies bask on a warm, south-facing rock.

Yesterday my walk in the woods with Bella was a sloppy mess - the ground unfrozen, air temperature above freezing, after rain had fallen on top of six inches of snow. What a difference a day makes. Today the temperature is stuck in the 20s. With winds gusting to 35 mph, the wind chill is a chilling 12F.

Friday last week capped a week of temperatures in the 50s and 60s. What a difference a week makes.

One year ago today we were without power, after a major ice storm knocked down trees, limbs, and utility lines. We have no wood stove. By Saturday last year the thermometer in our kitchen read below 50F. We were desperate to find a generator. One of our neighbors loaned us one for three hours so we could get our house up to 60F before they reclaimed the generator. On Sunday, after 3 1/2 days without power, we found a generator (my brother bought one for us at a Home Depot south of Boston - none were available in New Hampshire). The exact moment that we plugged it into our power supply, the power was back. At least we are prepared for the next storm, which could come any time.

The clouds are building as I write - snow is on the way, although predicted to be just a dusting. Reminds me of a cartoon though, where someone is calling the weather-caster to come over and shovel off six inches of "partly cloudy."

Before the clouds rolled in, I stood next to a winterberry bush in the brisk wind, soaking up the sun's warmth under a clear blue sky - the beauty of winter.

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