Friday, January 3, 2014

Bitter Cold (Worse Coming)

 We have 5.3" of snow on the ground and overnight the sky cleared. The temperature plummeted to -5° on our kitchen thermometer. I decided it was time to activate the "Pipe Brigade" (those of you who have read Pinehaven know all about this). I set my clock radio for 2 a.m. but promptly woke at 1:54 a.m. My internal clock is apparently quite good.

 When I came down the steps, Mom was sound asleep. All was quiet outside. The wind had mostly subsided and all was well. I ran water in the bathroom and the kitchen sink and checked the temperature under the bathtub (we keep a digital thermometer there at all times).

 Before going back to bed I looked out upon the frozen world. The distant neighbor's houses were dark. I saw no traffic, not even a snow plow. I went back to bed knowing all was right with our world.

 Just after 8 a.m. this is the view out our front window. Long shadows slice across the snow. At the left our arbor vitae holds snow from yesterday's storm. The just-risen sun gives the snow a comfortable, even warm hue. If you look between the two catalpa trees, you can see that the field is striated by the wind. The next picture is a close-up of that area:

 There has been no one in that field. Those marks were made entirely by the wind. They cut at odd angles and seem almost made by snowmobiles. But, no. That is the work of no more than the wind and the blowing and drifting snow. We have 5.3" on the ground this morning.

 Mom's north-facing bedroom window again shows the work of Jack Frost. Such beautiful ice crystals form there! Feathers could not be more intricate. They chill me to the bone at the same time they warm my heart.
 So, we await a bit of a warm-up over the weekend. Sunday should break freezing but there'll be more precipitation falling. Snow? Rain? A mix? It's too early to say.
 Then, next week that storm will retreat and drag in another Arctic cold front. Some models are showing -20° on Tuesday morning. Dayton's record low is safe (I hope); -28° on February 13, 1938. My mother would have been 13 but says she does not remember it.
 While I hope that does not come to pass, I know it's going to be brutally cold. Pinehaven's Pipe Brigade will again by called to active duty.

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