Thursday, January 24, 2013

Settling in

The deep freeze continues at my cabin on Roundtop Mtn. Yesterday was the coldest morning so far at 5 degrees. That’s the coldest it’s been in two years. Last winter was exceptionally warm, so more than 700 days have passed since I’ve felt cold this deep. It feels odd to me that weather once so common has now become so rare.

The cold takes a bit of getting used to, again. My bones didn’t remember the feel of it for a while, though I think that sense memory is back, and both me and my bones have settled into our winter patterns again. I find myself dashing out the front door, covered only by indoor clothes, a hat and my gloves to feed the chickens and give them fresh water. It’s only later that I realize the temperature was in the single digits when I did that.
The new chickens aren’t used to the cold and don’t know enough yet to drink their water before it freezes. The old chickens drink whenever fresh water is given them, whether they are thirsty or not. They remember how the water freezes. They know they have to drink while the water is still in liquid form. For the young chickens, winter is still odd and mysterious, a time of frozen water and a cold white covering on the ground.
This morning I had a dusting of snow and am likely to add a few inches to the dusting sometime tomorrow. The dusting was dry and crunchy beneath my boots during my pre-dawn walk this morning. For the first time in a few days, the morning walk was enjoyable. The wind was calm, a blessed relief from the days before.
Snow makes everything look prettier.
Even at 10 degrees, little ice forms on Roundtop’s snowmaking ponds. They’ve been making snow 24 hours a day since the temperature dropped, and the constant drawing of water from the pond keeps it open. I did find a little ice starting to form around the stalks of last year’s phragmites along the pond’s edge.
Winter still feels like a visitor to me, though, rather than a regular seasonal tenant. Here I am more than one third of the way through the season, and this week is only the second week of actual winter weather that’s graced the mountain. It’s harder for me to get used to that notion than it is to get used to the cold.


Scott said...

Your image of the ice forming around the Phragmites stems and the sunrise (?) reflection in the rippling water is one of your best images EVER, Carolyn. Bravo!

We only got down to 10 degrees on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning (not 5 degrees), our coldest so far. This morning it was 15 degrees when I got up at 6:00.

I feel like this frigid cold snap is just something we have to tolerate since it's supposed to be near 50 mid-week next week. However, it would be nice if it stayed consistently cold longer, just not THIS cold

Carolyn H said...

Thanks, Scott! I had planned to take some photos of the dusint of snow, but then I saw the sunrise starting to be reflected in the water around the icy phragmites, and I knew that was going to be the one for the day.

My idea of good winter weather tends to stay around the 20's in the daytime and the teens at night, so I'm finding this temperature a bit colder than I prefer, too. It's been quite a while since I've gone a full week where it never broke freezing, but that's is happening this week.