Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘snow

Let’s Move

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When they started out in the brooder five weeks ago, our chicks had plenty of room. They are now getting a little testy with each other over their lack of space.

It’s time to move to the coop.

We probably would have already moved them, except it’s been so cold and snowy.

Now we are expecting a run of warmer weather and they are going to be movin’ on up.

You can see in the photo that they are sprouting enough feathers to reveal their eventual colors. The Golden Laced Wyandottes are showing that golden lacing nicely. They all have a long way to go before maturing into their wattles and combs.

By that time, we will need to have decided whether to let them roam free or keep them confined to protect them from predators. For a while there we felt okay with last year’s experiment, but with the rash of springtime attacks polishing off the last of that brood, it doesn’t feel quite right to not try something different.

We’ll move on that decision when they start to out-grow the coop in a month or two.

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Written by johnwhays

April 19, 2018 at 6:00 am

Quick Melt

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Yesterday was a day of blue sky and above freezing temperatures. The world around us responded emphatically.

It seems only fair. The winter storm that rolled over us last weekend came with its own significant emphasis. When I got to work on Monday, I was greeted by a three-foot drift that filled the sidewalk to our front door.

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I needed to shovel my way into work.

Yesterday’s swift melting was spring’s perfect response to the double-digit blast of snow.

The metal roof of the shop-garage is always a source of creative snow-melt. Before the large icicles had a chance to break off the edge of the roof, the entire mass of snow lost grip with the roof and slid down, curling as it rolled over the lip.

The sideways icicle made for a spectacular visual.

As the sun headed for the horizon, I spotted the withering snow mass covering the deck. I have no idea why the snow melted the way it did, but it became a blanket of patterned bumps that I have never seen before. Turn the image upside down and it could be a mammatus cloud formation.

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It didn’t feel possible last weekend, but I do believe spring is going to finally respond to the earth tilt that is lengthening our hours of sunlight.

Yep, we are finally getting a quick melt to this very long, slow winter. At this point, I’ll gladly take it.

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Written by johnwhays

April 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

What Else?

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There is nothing else for me to write about today. Our everything this weekend is buried by this April snow storm event. Twenty four hours after the last picture I posted yesterday, the view doesn’t look all that different.

We got pummeled by windblown snow all day long. I think our total accumulation is somewhat reduced by periods of tiny, sleety snowflakes that dropped straight down from the sky between the blustering gusts of blizzard winds. The drifting snow on the ground is very dense.

It looks like a little more accumulation, viewed on the deck where I shoveled a path to the rack of firewood.

The classic comma spiral of the storm, visible on the national radar composite, is providing us a little break from heavy precipitation this morning.

Just like the eye of a hurricane, the calm won’t last.

We could yet have a significant accumulation blanketing us after the back side of the storm makes its way slowly east.

I can’t remember, did the ground-hog see his shadow or not, back in February?

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Written by johnwhays

April 15, 2018 at 10:11 am

Almost Spring

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We’ll get there eventually. In a spattering sleet yesterday, I finished toiling away on the giant winter’s-worth pile of manure in the paddock to stir some fresh oxygen into the middle where there are signs of productive microorganism activity. The chore has been on hold, awaiting enough of a thaw to make reasonable progress possible.

On Thursday, the temperature reached 50°(F) under a gray sky. It was almost enough to inspire hope, except the forecast threatening another serious blast of winter wind and snow loomed large enough hold us fast in the beat-down of prolonged Arctic conditions.

I took a picture out the front door on Thursday afternoon, then again on Friday morning in a downpour of graupel, and finally, an hour ago.

They tell us this is just the beginning. Oh, joy.

The calendar says spring, but the weather just laughs and says, “Whatever.”

I’ll say, “Almost.”

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Written by johnwhays

April 14, 2018 at 8:56 am

Changing, Again

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At the rate the transition from winter to spring has been playing out this year, this Words on Images post from April of 2013 resonates enough that I’ve decided to give it a fresh viewing. The prolonged cold and snow is getting mind numbing, but the change will eventually swing through to fruition. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

April 11, 2018 at 6:00 am

Image Inversion

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One more image from Cyndie’s latest collection taken after the recent snowfall:

If you look at it long enough, at the right angle, this is one of those photos where the perception can become inverted, and the high spots suddenly appear as recessed.

The image will take on a softer, fuzzier appearance. Once the mind shifts to the inverted perception, it can be very difficult to switch back again.

Which do you see?

It’s all in how you interpret the shadows and highlights of the snow that actually rests on top of the swirling pattern of the mat that sits outside our front door.

When you can see that the snow puffs up on top of the mat, the image will seem more crisp.

When the perception flips, the puffy snow will suddenly invert and look sunk below the surrounding cutouts of the pattern swirls.

Flip Out, man!

No drugs required.

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Written by johnwhays

April 6, 2018 at 6:00 am

Natural Wonders

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When I first saw this image that Cyndie captured, I struggled to imagine what could have made these intriguing tracks in the snow.

The alternating diagonal slices in the snow had me thinking of a large bird of prey dragging its talons as it “ran” across the surface while taking off.

Seemed like there should also be evidence of flapping wings, too. There wasn’t.

Closer review led to a much less dramatic, but still rather surprising cause.

The snow that had stuck to the wires of our fence was blowing off in long chunks and creating the lines on the surface below.

Cool!

I wouldn’t have been able to create that artwork if I tried.

Thank you, Mother Nature.

Oh, but nature wasn’t done creating. In an evening walk, Cyndie took one more picture of the fence wires.

Once again, the shadow of the wires was having a visible influence on the melting of the snow beneath the bright April sunshine.

Many thanks to Cyndie for her keen eye and crafty image captures!

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Written by johnwhays

April 5, 2018 at 6:00 am