Sunday, November 25, 2007

Seasons, they are changing!

The seasons are changing here without a doubt! Did you know it had to be "warm enough to snow?" How does that make any sense?? We went from the summer months at warm temperatures of 45-50 degrees, to negative 21 degrees in a matter of weeks! We felt like winter long before we looked like it. The snow didn't really start falling with earnest until this week. The Sound started freezing over and the rivers were solid long before we had true snow fall. Now that it has actually started getting warmer again (yes, 12 degrees counts as warm!) it has been able to cover this area with feet of beautiful snow! The first day of the snow fall you can make a snowball out of it, after that, the snow packs down so quickly and "dries out" so much that you can't get it to pack at all. I compare it to the man made snow they put on ski slopes as they wait for real snow to fall. It is basically ice, in a shaved, airborn form!

The Sound froze over actually before we had a true layer of snow on the ground. We have a sand bar about 100 yards off our "beach." The ice would form up the rivers and on the sand bar, then break free with each tide change. It was very similar to when the Sound first broke up last Spring because we had the ENORMOUS ice chunks floating down past Front Street. They were about 5 inches thick.

I have a new friend here with me in the Arctic Circle. She came up from the lower 48 and we have known each other for about a year or so. Her name is Shiloh and she is a German Shepard/Australian Shepard cross. She has adapted very quickly to the change in climate. She is not a big fan of the snow boots but it is necessary to keep frost bite from setting in on her wee little pads. She has learned the "Arctic Circle " form of travel. Most folks get around in the winter on either 4 wheelers or Snow Mobiles. Shiloh and I currently have access to a 4 wheeler and she has gotten the hang of it nicely!

I wanted to let you see a great picture I took the other day as Shiloh and I were being blown across the frozen lagoon. It shows the basics of my area in broad detail. Look at the picture closely. Notice the old with the new culture in the pile? This is very typical of the outside of most homes here. The snow hides a lot of this pile. It is about 2 feet here, not bad really.


Dr. Bob said...

What was that about dogs not looking silly? Poor Shiloh! She does look put-upon with the boots. However, she does look very happy on the back of her fourwheeler.

What is in your pile of stuff outside the door. I can't tell (of course the morning coffee has not kicked in yet).

Rowan said...

Hi! Your photos are sooo beautiful. I remember people saying it was too cold for snow as a child living through what felt like severe Highland winters. Sometimes, the village would be cut off for a week, and once we had a helicopter drop of provisions. That sort of weather is a thing of the past now, sadly, or has been for the last few years. Snow lies for a day or so, maybe, and that's it. :(

How does it feel, to live somewhere so remote and still? I lived on the edge of the sea in a place called Ackergill, in Caithness. Otters played on the foreshore, and once, a whale's huge tail rose up out of the bay and splashed down with a great whoom. It was wonderful, wild and alive. I am writing this in my wee hoosie in Dundee, but remember how alive i felt, alive and at peace, walking as the only person awake for miles, along that foreshore, watching then sun rise with my two wacky dogs bounding ahead of me. I knew it would not be forever, it was too lovely, and even then, was storing up the memories against times of austerity.

I don't know how long you intend to spend in this amazing and very special place that one would really only be able to comprehend by being there. But the memories will live with you forever. Thank you for posting the lovely pictures.

Shiloh's boots rock. I reeeally want a dog. Sigh. My dad tried to get me a labrador pup, but his labradors always smelt like, well, rotting seals. They slept in a lean-to outside. I don't know if labradors just pong, or if he was just needing to give his a bath now and then. Hmmm. I would like a wee lazy type of dog that is sweet natured and doesn't poop a very lot.

Am in awe of all your snow driving. Give Shiloh a scratch all the way from scotland!

The Lass said...

the pile of stuff includes a broken headboard, broken bike, broken snow mobile (sno-go as it is called here) and a moose antler and caribou too.

The Lass said...

Rowan, it is an amazing adventure here! The silence on the "beach" and frozen Sound tends to be broken constantly by the sound of the 2 stroke motor of a snow mobile at top speed racing across the snow! It really is lovely in the wee hours of the morning though, not another soul in sight and even most of the sled dogs are sleeping as we quietly move by. Our "Sand Spit" is very small and VERY crowded for such a small area. Every inch has a home or business on it. Sled dogs tend to be staked out in the area around the "beach" as their barking won't bother as many people there. It has the amazing ability to feel too crowded and too isolated at the exact same time.

Rowan said...

Wowzers! It sounds like an amazing adventure indeed. It must be incredible, as you say, in the wee small hours, when all is still. I wasn't imagining it would be noisy and crowded during the day! It must be such a different world, with teams of sled dogs barking in the distance, and peeps jetting aboot on snow mobiles.

I am still a bus-riding pedestrian, cos I just can't drive in a straight line.:/. But I can listen to my recently aquired cool wee iPod nano, and feel a little more happenin. Sadly, most of the peeps I travel with are over 80, so they are not as impressed as they should be, when I flash it about ostentatiously in the aisle seat. (My iPod nano, in case I hadn't made that bit clear) :D

Hope you have a great week!