Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter at Pinehaven

 Yesterday's forecast called for heavy snow. 8-12" wasn't out of the question. But the low pressure system jogged to the west and left us in the warm sector of the storm. Instead of heavy snow, we got heavy rain (0.90").
 But with an Arctic cold front just to our west, winter weather wasn't something we could escape entirely. Between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. the cold air began to push in, the winds increased and the snow began to fly. We got no more than a trace (there is 1.5" of snow remaining on the ground this morning) but areas just to our west, in Indiana, had to put up with late day blizzard warnings.
 Throughout the night I was kept on edge by the wind. I worry about our pipes and about the cost of heating this old house. I set my clock radio for 2 a.m. I got up, came downstairs and found Mom up having breakfast (I smelled the toast even before I left my bedroom). She had checked everything already.
 This morning it is cold (-5° at 9 a.m.) and the wind continues to blow.

 On January 4, as the winter storm was beginning to form to our southwest, our weather was quite beautiful. The low sun produced marvelous shadows and the jet contrails in the blue sky were stunning. This was shot from my second floor bedroom window, facing south.

 This is how Mom's bedroom window looks this morning. As usual on cold nights, it becomes crossed with delicate lines of ice, feathery structures that seem too good to be true. There are also individual snow-like flakes of ice, islands of ice among the lines.

 At 8:08 a.m. I walked to the front window near the sofa and shot across the field to our east. The gray light of night still controlled the scene.

 But just nine minutes later, the sun had risen above the horizon and bathed the snow in its orange light. It looks warmer even if it isn't. All area schools are closed, not because the roads are particularly dangerous, but because children would have to wait for their buses in the brutal cold.
 Tonight the "Pipe Brigade" will be called to duty again. Colder still. -15° is possible with wind chills of -40°. We won't get a break until Thursday, three days off. Winter at Pinehaven can spell trying times.

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