Big Wind

I spent much of the day sleeping today, still trying to fight off a cold. My brother and I did walk down to the library this afternoon to watch a presentation on pack rafting in Alaska. Winds were pretty stiff coming and going. It was blowing pretty much out of the east, so at our backs on the walk there, but gusting right in our faces on the way back. Combined with temperatures in the teens, it was a chilling walk.

I’ve been paying more attention to snow blowing off the peaks during this recent spell of cold/clear weather, so it was interesting today to see how few peaks could actually be seen. Skies were clear overall, but my guess is that white-out conditions prevailed on most of the higher snow laden peaks. It would be interesting to see the snow sculptures that must have been created with drifts being deposited and carved by the wind.

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Clearing and Cooling

Today ended up being a bit more full than I planned, as it took longer to get stuff ready for my dad’s arrival in town this evening. I was able to walk over to the bridge after class and catch the sunset, which was nice. Temperatures were cooler today, but the forecast is for even colder tonight and tomorrow. Winds were minor on the ground, though I noticed the wind turbine going at a moderate pace, so there was apparently at least some breeze aloft (strangely, I don’t recall noticing it much when I was upon the bridge). I took additional note of the patterns of snow on the trees covering the mountains and hills around town. I plan to write a post about my observations later this week.

On my walk I saw a Red-breasted Merganser in the Channel. Their were lots of them in the bays south of town during the Christmas Bird Count, but for some reason they’ve been mostly absent along the road system this winter. It was also interesting that I noticed the smell of seaweed and whatever else goes into the mix to create the fairly distinct low tide smell. (Interesting because I hadn’t noticed it yesterday when I was trying to pay more attention.) Several gulls seemed to be taking advantage of the low water levels to try and find food along the shoreline. I didn’t have enough time to watch and see if they were finding any success. I imagine at other times of year, they wouldn’t even bother, but from now until the herring run is probably the most difficult time of the year for them food-wise.

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