Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘sunshine

Wednesday’s Sun

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It was warm yesterday, but cloudy. Nothing like Wednesday’s sun.

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Written by johnwhays

February 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

Sub-zero Sun

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One thing about really cold winter days, they tend to be very bright with sunshine. As I mentioned yesterday, the wind kept most of our deck clear of accumulation, even though I bet we received around 2 to 3 inches.

Since the precipitation started as a foggy drizzle before the temperature dropped back below freezing, surfaces received an icy glaze for a base coat.

When conditions changed to wind-blown snow, instead of accumulating on the deck, it acted as more of a polishing agent.

I failed at making an indoor nap the primary accomplishment of my day yesterday. There was a mess of snow that drifted on our front walkway which needed to be cleared, so I used that as an excuse to force myself up and out into the Arctic air. One thing led to another and I kept working my way along the driveway in front of the garage doors.

At that point, I couldn’t stop myself from getting out the Grizzly and plowing the full length of the driveway.

In the grand scheme of winter plowing, it wasn’t my best effort, but it will do for now. The surface is a frozen mess of layers from the changing conditions of the last month or two. We’ve packed down countless minor dustings by driving over it until it becomes a solid slippery coating, after which a warm spell turned some of it to pure ice and other areas to a slushy series of tire tracks.

The subsequent plunge in temperature has locked all of this up tight and then firmly filled in the crevices with wind-blown snow.

The plow blade basically bounced around and over the frozen pathway, as opposed to cleaning it down to the asphalt.

We’ve got plenty of sub-zero sun shining down, but it isn’t going to improve the surface of our driveway any. That will require the next wave of warm Pacific air when the jet stream shifts again, which forecasts hint could be just a week away.

There’s never a dull moment in our Wintervale weather adventure land lottery.

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Written by johnwhays

January 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

January Thaw

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I have lived near the Twin Cities for most of my life, but I never realized how consistently we experience a January thaw. From Meteorologist, Paul Huttner’s Updraft blog:

“A January thaw is defined as two or more consecutive days of high temperatures above 32 degrees. That happens in 93 percent of all years on record for the Twin Cities. In fact, a January thaw is more reliable than a white Christmas (72 percent) in the Twin Cities.”

Everyone at Wintervale is enjoying this little break from the ravages of the deep cold that has besieged us for the last few weeks.

The sunshine and warm Pacific breeze was just right for an afternoon sun bath.

The chickens are much quicker to come out of the coop with the warmer temperatures. The Buff Orpington spent a fair amount of time breaking up frozen sand so her bath could be a mixture of sun and soil.

When I noticed her kicking up a dust cloud storm and wallowing luxuriously in it, I pulled out my camera to record video of the spectacle.

I got two seconds of fluttering and a minute and a half of her sitting mostly still, occasionally pecking at the frozen sand. She was not interested in being the star of my movie.

The scene of Dezirea nodding off in the sun, with her tail flowing gracefully in the gentle breeze turned out to be the more rewarding video, even though it has about the same amount of action as the shot of the hen.

Legacy interrupted my video of Dezirea when he stepped forward to poke his head into the bright sunshine and blocked my view.

We have been trying to absorb this early January thaw for all it is worth, given the impending swing back to serious winter weather being forecast. Tomorrow could become a day of our greatest snow accumulation this season, and the thermometer is expected to sink back to sub-zero overnight temperatures.

Hello, again, winter.

It’s getting hard maintaining a charade of still being on a tropical vacation by simply revisiting our photo albums.

But that doesn’t prevent us from putting forth an effort.

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Written by johnwhays

January 10, 2018 at 7:00 am

Sun Basking

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This time of year around these parts, when there is warm sun painting the afternoon, you best soak it up to the fullest extent possible. After tending to the horses when I got home from work yesterday, Delilah and I were making our way back to the house and were overcome by an irresistible urge to pause and bask in the glorious warm autumn sunshine.

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After I took a few portraits of her, Delilah said she wanted to take some pictures of me. I gave her the phone and struck a pose.

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She said she needed to fix something. My nose was runny.

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If I used Facebook, I’d have to update my profile picture with that one.

img_ip1760e.It was pretty funny watching her hold the phone in her teeth as she reached up with her paw to touch the button for the photos.

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Written by johnwhays

October 25, 2016 at 6:00 am

Noticeable Difference

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I sat down on the couch after work yesterday and the first thing that caught my attention was the angle of the sunshine radiating through the glass door to the deck. It seemed a lot higher than usual for this time of day. The days have been getting longer since December 21, and now in the second week of January, I’m noticing the change. It’s inspiring!

We have about a day to enjoy a break from extreme cold today, as a warm spell is pushing our temperatures toward the 30s (F), after which it is expected to drop even colder than it was last Sunday and Monday. Brrrr.

Luckily, I will have plenty of indoor entertainment available in the form of televised NFL playoff games in which my team is not participating. That makes them all stress-free for me, because I have no emotional attachment to any other team’s success or failure. If someone’s kicker misses a potential game-winning field goal, I will be able to feel their pain, for sure.

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Delilah was gnawing ferociously on a new stuffed duck-looking chew toy that Cyndie bought and suddenly she seemed entranced by how high the sun still was at such an early hour.

Great minds think alike.

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Written by johnwhays

January 14, 2016 at 7:00 am

Beautiful Days

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There is something rather heartbreaking about receiving the gift of summer-like warmth on a November day, and then not feeling well enough to take advantage of it. My body is wrestling with some common cold symptoms, sapping me of most of my energy to do anything physically productive after work.

Within an hour of arriving home, the daylight is fading fast, leaving a rather small window of time to tend to outdoor projects.

DSCN4084eWith my body feeling achy and my eyes stinging, I was more interested in curling up on the couch, than going outside to take advantage of the beautiful day. I did, however, step out to capture an image of sun’s last moments on our horizon.

I could hear the buzzing hum of our neighbor’s mower, which poked at my already sensitive moping over wishing I had the gumption to be out doing similar such chores around our house.

Looks like I should have one last chance this afternoon, and then our temperatures plunge back to the realities of November. At least chilly weather won’t make me feel as bad about convalescing under a blanket in the living room.

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Written by johnwhays

November 4, 2015 at 7:00 am

Perfect Day

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I’m going to assume that you all guessed we are up at our lake place. We were able to secure coverage in caring for our home and animals for a few days, so we scampered up to our favorite getaway to spend the weekend with Cyndie’s parents and some of her brother’s family, in addition to the many other wonderful members and friends of our unique community up here.

We enjoyed an absolutely perfect summer day yesterday. Spent the majority of it on the beach of our lake, with friends and family, plenty of rambunctious kids frolicking on floating devices in the water, warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and an opportunity for a nap on a lounge chair during a lull in the activity.

DSCN3712eThe lake temperature was ideal for summer refreshment, without being too cold to get used to easily. I flirted with getting too much sun, choosing to forgo the sensible solution of applying sun screen, by limiting my time of exposure out in the water. I was able to enjoy the day without feeling greasy, but probably put myself at a bit of a risk. I could feel it on my skin last night, but it was short of actually being painful.

I put in a fair amount of effort to not perseverate over the work that was not getting done at home, but found myself unable to avoid fretting over the need to get home early today to mow the grass. I will be up against the challenge of somehow getting the job done in the short time left in the day after we arrive home, and despite a threat of likely showers and thunderstorms.

Time runs out when evening comes, because I have to return to work tomorrow.

It’s a problem that I am willing to accept, given the pleasure we enjoyed in being up at the lake for a couple of perfect days at the beach.

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Written by johnwhays

July 26, 2015 at 6:00 am