Tuesday, December 2, 2014
It's relatively warm now, but another cold blast is coming.
Outside this morning it's forty two degrees. We've had several days of warm weather, up into the 60's by afternoon. December is usually a cold month though, and some more chilly weather is expected by this weekend. The picture above was taken at a waterfall near our place just before Christmas in 2008.
This is a short cut through the national forest. I use it if I am going over the mountains and heading South. It saves some miles, though not a lot of time. When the snow and sleet is coming down, at least it's pretty out in the woods. This is one of two streams you have to ford.
When it gets cold here, the water draining off the mountains over the rock faces of the road cuts makes icicles. Some of them get to be over six feet long, if somebody like me doesn't come along and break them off.
If it stays cold long enough, the lakes and ponds freeze over. Not to the point where someone my size can walk on them, but the little lake where I walk sometimes gets two or three inches of ice all the way across it. People think the South is always warm, but not so in the mountains.
I have several fire pits at different places around my land. When the weather warms up to shirt sleeve temperatures, I like to sit out there and smoke my pipe, drink a little coffee, and listen to the radio.
Those brief interludes of warmth are rare. Most of the winter here, this is a more representative picture.
Keeping the trail down the mountain open in winter is a challenge. If we get wet snow and wind, I can be sure that I'll be clearing the trail of blow downs. It was relatively easy when my son was home, but now it's harder since it's just me. My wife will come down to lend moral support but I don't want her anywhere near the chain saw so that's about all she can do to help.
We used to take out a lot of these storm downed trees with a cross cut saw , just to learn how to use the thing. There's a skill set you need to use the old cross cut saws. It's not just like using a hand saw. Now that my son isn't here the cross cut saw stays up on a peg in the tool shed, it's not a one man show.
When my very old ferrets were still living, they had their own kerosene heater to snuggle by. Especially at night, when I put their blanket down by the heater, you might find all 7 tucked in there enjoying the heat. Ferrets are not really winter lovers. They like warm weather better.
This picture was taken around Christmas, in 2012. We get some big snows by late December, but that seems appropriate. This is a cove a couple of miles from my house. The dogs and I go down there so they can run around and get out of the forest for a bit.