Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Colder weather is here!

Ah, now it's starting to feel as though winter will actually arrive sometime this year. It was 22 degrees F at the cabin this morning. The morning is crisp and clear, and it feels wonderful.

This little tufted titmouse is one of my regular feeder birds. They are tame enough that I can stand outside with the camera and take a photo or two. The chickadees also don't mind if I'm near the feeder when they are. But the red-bellied woodpecker is quite shy and darts away as soon as it hears the door. The white-breasted nuthatch seem bold enough too, but never manages to remain still enough for me to get a shot.

Snowmaking continued all night at Roundtop, and this morning one or two of the bunny slopes are starting to look ski-able. Give it another day or so, and I'm pretty sure they will open. People have often asked me if the sound of the snowmaking is annoying to me over at the cabin. No, it isn't. It sounds a bit like a constant wind blowing through the trees. I drove past a car wash yesterday with my car windows closed, and the sound of that in operation was similar to what I hear at the cabin. Even if I heard that sound during the summer when my windows are open, it wouldn't be annoying to my ears.

However, when I get very close to the snowmaking jets, it hurts the dogs' ears. Plus, the sound of them is loud enough that the dogs don't hear me if we walk on the access road in front of a slope where they're making snow. So I just don't walk in front of the slopes while snow is made. I can walk around the far side of the old pond, which is really less than 100 yards from the snowmaking, and that doesn't hurt the dogs' ears (and they can hear me as well as they ever do).

This morning Dog and I walked in the woods a bit. The deer hunters seem to have gone. The ground is now hard enough that I'm not squishing through mud. We went out to the new pond and watched the full moon set behind the mountain. We were walking before dawn, but the full moon lit our way well enough. I'm always surprised at how much difference there is in where the moon sets in winter and summer. Right now, the moon sets in the northwest. By summer, it will be setting in the southwest. Dog was unimpressed, interested only in the wonderful smells on the ground in front of him.

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