Saturday, January 20, 2018

The winter ... so far

 Our winter has been cold so far, much below normal, but the snowfall has been minimal (3-1/4" in December; 3" so far in January). We've had both record lows (-14° on 01/02) and record highs (59° on 01/10). It seems as though this winter can't make up its mind.

 Overall, December was 1.5° below normal and January-to-date is running -5.2° through yesterday. Compare that to January 2017 when we ended the month a whopping 7.3° above normal). We're dry, too. December was 34%  below normal. January is running 13% below normal through today.

Here's a visual look at Pinehaven since winter began ...

 12/09 - First snow

12/09 - Very little need of a snow shovel 

12/27 - Jack Frost works the windows 

We started the day at -2°.

12/31: A view down the road 

12/31: At least the sun is shining 

12/31: Deer tracks (I believe) came right up to the house 

01/01: Overnight the temperature dipped to -8° 

01/05: The morning's low was zero and we had a
power outage that lasted nearly four hours 

 Tom and I sat on the sofa under a blanket. I fired up two kerosene space heaters and put two sawdust logs in the fireplace. The power, out at 8 am, came back on just before noon. Scary times. I worry mostly about the pipes freezing.

01/06: Cold enough? It bottomed out at -9° last night 

 01/14: Taken just as the sun rose above the distant horizon

01/14: Just 45 minutes later, the sun was muted behind clouds 
Temperature: +2°

01/17: Whose tracks are these?
Those in the know suggest squirrels which jump from spot to spot 

01/18: Sunset. It reached freezing today and seemed almost "warm" 

01/18: Sunset. Walking back the driveway after getting the mail

 So, meteorological winter (December through February) has passed the half-way point, though barely. Another forty days and the winter of 2017-18 will be history. It is so far showing itself to be an expensive one. Energy costs are killing me. For the first three weeks of January I have used over $385 worth of electricity (I read the meter weekly). With a week and a half to go, the final bill will be close to $575 unless things warm. And likely they will. Today (01/20) it is already 41° at 1:45 pm. The next two days may see readings around 50°. So a January thaw is underway.

 Just in time, too. Those rock hard nights of early January are melting into spring's hope. I think of the daffodil bulbs Tom and I planted in the fall. Are they feeling the influence of this pleasant day? Without eyes and underground, have they nevertheless noticed that the days are longer? Their signal is not visual.

 I'm beginning to feel it, too.