Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘Polar Vortex

Definitely Cold

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This polar vortex is one heck of a weather event, but we are enduring the harshness with general acceptance. I am always amazed that anything still functions at extremely cold temperatures like -31°(F), but at oh-dark-thirty yesterday morning my garage door opener jumped to life at the push of the button, and my car started without complaint, to roll out into the frigid darkness on its rock-hard tires.

As dramatic as the media are being about the danger of this cold wave, many implying that people shouldn’t spend extended time outside or they will die, I hearken back to stories from the 1986 Steger International Polar Expedition. They spent day and night out in temperatures that reached -70°F at times.

We should be able to handle a couple of days of 30-below.

When I got home from work yesterday, the horses were peacefully standing out in the paddock, soaking up the sunshine through their blankets. They are spending nights inside during the super-chill. Cyndie said they now all walk in on their own, one after the other, making their way into their appropriate stalls.

The chickens showed no interest in coming out after the snow last Sunday, so, now that it’s also wicked cold, we don’t even open their door. Yesterday, Cyndie found one beautiful egg in the nest boxes, unfortunately, cracked and frozen.

Cyndie dug out booties for Delilah’s paws, which we haven’t tried since the first attempt was met with total rejection years ago. The results were no different this time. She didn’t like them, but allowed Cyndie to put them all on. A few steps out the door and black boots were kicked in every direction.

It appears the wild rabbits in our vicinity are using activity to keep warm, as their footprints are pounding well-worn paths in the snow. I found a not-so-subtle entrance to a den dug into the snow beside the shop.

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As fast as this vortex from the pole has settled upon us, it will also recede. In its place, the forecast for the coming weekend offers a difference of 70 degrees, with Sunday’s high reaching the mid 40s.

That will definitely feel warm.

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Written by johnwhays

January 31, 2019 at 7:00 am

Roll

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

January 30, 2019 at 7:00 am

Flying North

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Today, we fly back to winter, just in time for a blast of snow and Arctic cold air to put an exclamation point on the end of our 9-day visit to Florida. We ate like royalty, played cards, laughed, shopped, explored, watched movies and never wore mittens once.

Yesterday, maybe as a primer for our return, the temperature hovered on the cool side of comfortable, compressing our outdoor activity to a couple matches of bocce ball and a walk back to the house before the next rain shower.

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Barb was the difference maker in both close competitions, despite the missing sunshine that would have allowed for much more relaxed muscles during tosses.

We expect to arrive to the Minneapolis airport in the late afternoon today, and hope to drive the hour toward home without suffering any delays that may result from snow-covered roads.

Whether I will be able to execute my usual commute across the Twin Cities in my return to the day-job tomorrow morning remains a mystery, at this point.

The forecast (as of late last night) is rather ominous:

The predicted high temperature on Wednesday could remain in the double-digits (F) below zero. That will be the warmest part of the day.

One tiny shred of consolation about coming home to this brutal weather, is the fact that the polar vortex pushing down into the middle of the country will have an impact all the way to Florida. Cyndie’s parents had us put the insulating cover on their pool last night, in preparation for the cool week ahead.

Good thing we are going home, so we don’t have to suffer in any of the cold Florida weather they will be dealing with down here.

It’s all relative, isn’t it?

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Written by johnwhays

January 27, 2019 at 7:00 am

Morning Pictures

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Delilah and I set out in the pre-dawn light to walk the long way through the woods to the barn so we could feed the horses. The coloring comes through with a blue tint before the sunlight starts making its way through the clouds.

dscn5548eI always find the view of fresh snow on the branches irresistible to capture, but the pictures never do justice to what I get to see in real life.

Legacy likes to pretend he doesn’t know how to get around the obstacle of the arena fence line to come in for the morning morsels of feed. The two younger chestnuts ignore his act and simply keep grazing until its time to go.

dscn5552eThis morning provided good evidence of the horses having a preference for one hay over another from the selections we have to offer them this year. I specifically mixed the supply in this box last night.

dscn5550eNot wanting them to suffer over their picky-ness about the fuel being served this morning in the snowy cold, I emptied the box of the less desirable hay and replaced it with one of the bales they prefer.

I dumped the unwanted hay out in the raised circle.

dscn5553eNow guess which one they prefer.

After getting back up to the house to feed the rest of the crew, I will be stepping back outside to crank up the Grizzly for the first snowplowing of the year.

With a Polar Vortex cold snap predicted for the days ahead, it is finally feeling a lot like winter around Wintervale today.

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Written by johnwhays

December 11, 2016 at 11:06 am