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Monday, January 08, 2018

The deep cold has left our area, but we're presently getting more snow. At 20 degrees above zero, it felt like spring today! Tonight the roads will be a little slick with the new snow - about two or three inches, I'd guess. It has been pretty steady most of the day, although some areas got only snow flurries, according to the weather report this noon. We spoke with middle son, Bob, in St. Johnsbury around noon and he said it was snowing hard there. It had all but stopped here, but then picked up again. At least there's been very little wind, so whatever has fallen is staying in place.
     We watched the Golden Globes last night for a while. I was impressed with the Me, Too/Time's Up solidarity--the women in black made a remarkable statement. In addition to that, I thought almost all the women seemed to be dressed more conservatively than usual. It may have been just the lack of splashy color I was noticing, but over all I thought there were some very beautiful, striking outfits on the stage. I did not tune in early enough to catch people on the red carpet. Although many of the men seemed to be on board by wearing black, I didn't hear any male winners mention gender inequality or anything about sexual assault. I suspect many of them are holding their breath. It will be interesting to see what ET has to say this evening about last night's award ceremony. This is a huge cultural turn-around that's been simmering for years, and no doubt will be difficult for many men and women to personally navigate and change. I'm sure there are women in the business world and otherwise, who will need to revise their thinking, as well.
     If you're driving tonight or tomorrow morning, do be careful. I know there are lots of skiers and boarders who will be heading to the slopes to take advantage of the new snow and warmer temps, and we wish them well. The cold weather has put a crimp in plans for lots of outdoor sports, but that is finally over, at least for a few days. Travel safely, and enjoy.
    
     

Saturday, January 06, 2018

One more awfully cold day behind us, but tomorrow it should begin to warm up a little. Today was again below zero all day, or at least every time I looked. I admit I didn't bother to check very often. Seeing those negative numbers gets old quickly.
     I had a note from Mary Whitcomb (remember Clem, the misplaced Baltimore oriole?) and some photos of birds at her feeder today. Keep in mind that in addition to it being cold, it was snowing and blowing, so there was lots of snow in the air and it no doubt made flying conditions a little dicey, even for birds. Here's what Mary wrote:

Hello Jane,  I am hoping that when this deep freeze ends Sunday, it is the last one for this winter.  Take a look at these poor birds.  I shoveled off my deck and put out lots of sunflower seeds by 7 this morning and within a minute these snow covered birds showed up and ate hungrily.  It took a few hours for them to shed the freezing crystals on their feathers.  I had to shovel again later as a very light snow fell plus the wind was blowing snow something fierce, plus I threw out more seeds to keep them well supplied.  Take care & keep warm!  Mary

Wow, I have never seen frost-covered birds before! At least these guys are all native to our cold climate. Still, this weather must be hard on them, especially since it's been so very cold for so long. It's a good thing they have Mary's feeder and that she looks after them all so well. I noticed a peanut in this last photo, so I guess the squirrels and chippies get special treats, too! Good work, Mary!
 



Friday, January 05, 2018

Well, another day in the deep freeze and then perhaps we'll get some relief. This has been a blustery, miserably cold day with a little more snow and a lot more wind. The thermometer hasn't been above zero once all day, although at one point it was just zero. It is now minus seven and headed downward.
     I was out at 9 a.m. to measure new snow depth and I always shovel off the deck as long as I'm out there. It was bracing, to put the best spin on the experience. The wind was swirling snow off the roof and there were mini drifts along the outer area of the deck. The snow was piled against the door about 18 inches up. It was hard to get a measurement that was anywhere near accurate because of the drifting, but I settled for eight inches. I suspect we actually got more and much of it was swept away by the time I got out there. The snow was a good deal heavier than it has been, due to the wind packing it, I expect. We probably gained another couple of inches during today. It has snowed lightly all day - or perhaps it was just coming off trees and roofs - hard to tell, but it was gloomy enough so there had to be new snow falling as well.
     We had planned to have a meeting at the Danville Historical Society this morning, but we all agreed it was silly to go out on the highways if we really didn't need to. I have been working on the West Danville book, honing more chapters for our editor to look at.
     In between, I've made a couple of dashes outside, but didn't stay long. Fred took the snowblower out to try to trim up the sides of our driveways a little, and to test his new windshield. It's a vinyl three-sided, covered "cab" made mostly of clear vinyl that does keep the snow off and protects from the wind pretty well, but Fred says he can't see worth a darn. Visibility is cut down way too much and it's difficult to tell where you're going with the thing. That is not a good thing, especially around the deep ditches we have. Fortunately, he really doesn't need to use it because Jamie is keeping us plowed out just fine. I think he really just wanted to test drive it with the new shield on. He was well chilled by the time he got back inside. No weather for man or beast out there these days.
     I hope everyone has plenty of fuel, both for heating their home and in their vehicle. Not a good time to run short for either one. I think everyone is tired of the cold and about ready for a January thaw. So then we'll probably break some records for high temperatures! I say, Bring it on!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

We came out of the deep freeze today, at least for a little while. We had beautiful--and very welcome--sunshine, and the temperature rose to 18 above or so in most places. We went to Littleton to have the car checked before heading out for Boston next week, and it seemed to be warmer there than in St. Johnsbury. The wind was still pretty cold, but it wasn't blowing hard, and with the sun shining, it was really very pleasant.
     On our way home, we took some pictures so we'll have some "before and after" shots, since we're expecting quite a bit more snow tomorrow. Friday looks like it could be a pretty wild day with snow and wind--blizzard conditions. We'll see how it all plays out. This first picture is Railroad Street, at the intersection with Concord Avenue at around 1 o'clock this afternoon, and the next one was at Price Chopper parking lot. Plenty of snow around. Streets tended to be a little slippery when we were heading out this morning, but by afternoon, it was warm enough for the salt to work.

     Here at Joe's Pond, things seem to be pretty quiet. Three Ponds was closed today, and because they are doing a good job keeping the lot plowed, it doen't look like West Danville has as much snow as St. J., but that isn't so. Actually, some from West Danville probably landed in St. Johnsbury, with the winds we've been having.
    This is Route 2W heading for Point Comfort. This stretch was fairly icy in the morning, but much better when this was taken. Fred got another shot of the Point as we were leaving West Danville.
    Not much at all is going on on our side of the pond. We see an occasional track where some animal has crossed our driveway or the lower lawn, but I have had the blinds down a good share of the time during this extreme cold, so if there was anything out there in the daytime, I wouldn't see it. I think most of the activity happens at night, anyway. At least the days are getting longer now, so it won't be too long before we're seeing more activity from wildlife. I know, I'm rushing the season, talking about coming out of winter, but it helps to know that no matter how awful the weather is, spring will come. It's not just about the weather--it's a good way to look at things in general. No matter what happens or how bad things seem, given a little time, it WILL get better--spring comes. It just does.
     Stay warm and safe. Think SPRING.