Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fog

Seasonal Scenes

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We are definitely in transition mode. The maple syrup producers are collecting sap as the daytime temps rise above freezing and then dip back down overnight. The ditches have started to fill with running water. Moisture is leaving the snowpack and going airborne.

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The patchy fog makes driving to work in the dark a real challenge as the visibility drops to zero in a blink one minute and becomes clear as a bell the next.

The receding snow cover unveils evidence of the rodent activity that goes on out of sight beneath the icy blanket. No wonder our dog cocks her head and looks down at the snow like an arctic fox and then leaps into the nose-first dive after whatever is making that sound that only dog and fox ears seem to detect.

The chickens are reveling in the expanding exposure of insect-rich soil. They have also amped up their egg production to record levels for this brood.

Today they may get a dose of March rain that forecasters hint could include some thunder by afternoon. By next week, the precipitation will likely be back to snow.

These are all typical scenes of our season of transition known as the month of March.

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Written by johnwhays

March 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

To Gilbert

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The day dawned foggy in Ely, but not nearly as cold as the first few days. We stayed dry all day, which was nice because it was a day of the farthest distance. I clocked in at 68 miles by the time we reached Gilbert.

With dry weather, it was easier for me to get the camera out while rolling down the road.

I had a goal of capturing a shot of Gary at some point, and when the opportunity presented itself…

I happened to come across Angela and Cynthia mid-pause on the shoulder, so I took their picture, too.

I like the totally unposed aspect of that shot.

It was day flat tires for some unknown reason. I was riding beside Steve when he hit a piece of steel that he mistook for wood. It put a slice in the sidewall that required a custom insert to keep the tube from bulging out.

The riding has gone well for me and I feel like I’ve finally got my old skills and form back for long distance cycling.

It’s a lot like riding a bike.

Remembering song chords and lyrics has been more of a challenge than the cycling.

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Written by johnwhays

June 20, 2019 at 6:00 am

No Mercy

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Graphic Content Warning of Life and Death on a Farm…

It was a gloomy and foggy morning. I offered to build a fire in the fireplace while Cyndie went out to do morning chores, tending to our animals. When I stepped out on the slippery deck in my house slippers to gather kindling, I picked up the unnerving sobs of pain and sorrow wafting within the soup of grayness that covered our land.

I called out to the fog, not having any idea which way the sound was coming from.

“Cyndie?!”

No reply.

I moved around on the deck, trying to get a sense of which direction her cries were coming from. It changed from right to left. I called again and again, but she didn’t reply. I grew angry because I wanted to know if she was injured and what I needed to do in response, standing now on the icy driveway in my slippers.

She was walking upright, and carrying something, so I guessed she was alright. The most likely problem was a dead chicken.

Finally, I demanded a response and she angrily growled that she had killed a possum that had gotten in the chicken coop and killed one of our Australorps.

How did it get in? Cyndie didn’t know. There was no indication of disruption around any of the doorways or windows.

The logical deduction: the critter had already snuck inside when the chicken door was closed last night.

Never underestimate the wrath of a mother reacting to harm of her precious brood. With lethal vengeance, Cyndie unleashed her grievance with a shovel, destroying my custom ramp in the process.

She admitted that any neighbors outside at the time probably heard an earful of expletives howled along with swings of the shovel.

There are now eight surviving hens and they seem very happy to be out of the coop, soaking up the above-freezing temperatures that are the source of all this fog.

The temperature climbed 75 degrees from Thursday morning’s -36°F to yesterday afternoon’s +39°F. Our thermometer reveals it didn’t drop back down below freezing overnight here, so the melting and thawing is in full swing.

The horses seem pretty pleased with the change, too. Free of their blankets, they were romping all over the paddock yesterday, running and kicking with gleeful energy.

This morning, Cyndie and I aren’t really feeling as much glee.

We are left wondering if recent events mean we will need to institute a full nook & cranny search of the coop every night from now on when we close the chicken access door at dusk.

I guess it beats the alternative we faced this morning.

 

Written by johnwhays

February 3, 2019 at 10:59 am

Big Meltdown

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The weather has taken the predicted turn toward warm, foggy, and wet. I didn’t take a picture this morning, because it would just turn out gray. Our visibility is at about 12 feet. It’s not like we lost a lot of snow. November brought us a couple of plow-able accumulations, but we never had more that 4 or 5 inches on the ground, excluding a few drifts that made it to twice that depth. But there isn’t much left in the way of snow anymore.

The mid-40s (F) all day yesterday and overnight last night have softened the once-frozen ground and turned the paddocks into their classic spring mud messiness. It is hard to judge the effectiveness of our drain tile with the current situation, because the ground seems frozen in some places and not so in others. I’m confident that our changes have helped to some degree. Ultimately, what the drain tile is expected to improve is the time it takes to dry out after the source of moisture ceases.

This situation is temporary, as it will return to freezing in a day or two. That will give the horses a break from the sloppiness. I don’t know if it bothers them as much as it does us, but it sure looks and sounds miserable when they trudge through the muck.

This morning they seemed particularly jumpy, I assume from the thickness of the fog, and it had them doing some dramatic running with gusto. When it is muddy, that kind of running kicks up quite a mess. Maybe they actually like that effect.

I took a picture of the drainage swale doing its thing yesterday. Here’s a before and after view of the big meltdown:

DSCN2584eIMG_iP0713e.

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Written by johnwhays

December 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

Fog

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it’s complicated
trying to find the words
to describe the fog
in a way that’s not cliché
how it makes life feel
different
by just being there
clouding every space
both heavy and light
at the very same time
it fills every void
and effectively creates
one much greater
simple
as a science lab experiment
expanded
to epic proportions

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Written by johnwhays

November 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

Walking

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walking past
time and again
vast
breathtaking
occasionally not there
figments
fog reality
earth tones
vibrate
resonate
landscapes
differentiate
vistas
barely separate
dreams
fading fast
slip away
simultaneously filling
yet creating
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an abyss
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that is nothing
a feeling
fleeting
delicate
hesitating
anticipating
heavy
hammering down
brute force impact
flailing
for purchase
a foothold
lackadaisically looking
for some step
that destiny dictates
should come
next

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2014 at 6:58 am

A Fogbow

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Before the heavy humidity broke yesterday, we had an extremely foggy morning. I was walking with Delilah after feeding the horses, and as the sun broke the horizon and burned its way through the fog, I spotted the distinctive arc of a rainbow. But it wasn’t a rainbow. It was a fogbow.

DSCN2298eDSCN2299e.

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Eventually, the dew point dropped and a glorious breeze picked up, making it a fabulous afternoon to be out working. The morning was another story. It was too wet to mow, so I started the day with a chainsaw. I headed down to the south trail that needs to be widened. Also, there was still one tree laying across the trail along our western border. After tackling those areas, I moved along to a string of box elder trees that need to be removed for installation of the new fence around the grazing pasture. The work had my t-shirt and pants totally soaked with sweat by the time I stopped to head in for lunch.

When I came out again after eating, it was like a whole new day. It made the mowing chore downright pleasant. By the time I finished, my shirt was completely dry. After a long day, during which I had confined Delilah to her kennel, we headed to the house for dinner and I happily turned off the air conditioning so I could open up the windows to the fresh summer air.

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Written by johnwhays

August 26, 2014 at 6:00 am