Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘temperature perception

Winter Walking

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Referring back to my recent post about feeling maladjusted to real cold, this morning’s walk was extremely refreshing at -1°(F). The big moon was low in the west and lit up brilliantly by sun rays that hadn’t crested our horizon yet. I hastily tried to capture a shot with the new Olympus pocket camera while standing on the trail down to the northwest corner of our property.

Nothing spectacular about the image, but that is not the camera’s fault. I didn’t do anything to contribute toward making it a better photo. It was a quick exercise in seeing how well I could pull the camera out of a deep pocket and get a shot with my bare hand while Delilah patiently waited to get on with the more important tasks on her mind.

The pads on her feet are calibrated for the indoor comfort of our house, so the bitter cold snow gets painful for her to stand upon. We made the morning jaunt a short one today, skipping to bother even opening the chicken coop until after the sunshine offers at least a suggestion of possible warmth.

Yesterday, in the bright light of midday, I took some pictures of the snow conditions we are stuck with so far this year.

The snow is crusty, not very deep, and rather uninviting for romping around. That’s not all bad, though. I’ve needed to do less plowing and shoveling, and walking the trails with Delilah can be done without putting on snowshoes.

On the bright side, there is at least enough snow to offer the classic sound absorption that creates mystical quiet in the great outdoors. Both yesterday and this morning the glory and wonder of a winter walk with just the sound of boots on snow were at a peak.

When I stop moving, the lack of sound slowly reveals the delicate notes of a single bird in the distance or the sound of Delilah breathing in the trace of a scent hanging in the still air.

We live in a winter wonderland, no matter how much snow we get.

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Written by johnwhays

January 11, 2020 at 10:28 am

Feels Colder

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We’re growing soft with all these above freezing days in winter. More than one person told me how cold it felt yesterday even though temperatures were in the upper twenties. That’s above average for this week in January.

It did feel cold to me, which just seems wrong. It’s as if our blood isn’t making the usual adjustments for winter with so many warm days.

Normally cold temperatures serve as the winter reference point such that we end up leaving jackets unzipped when it warms up to the 30s because it feels so warm.

The up and down toggle around the freezing point is messing with our snow cover. Cyndie gave me some pictures that look a little like the moonscape.

It was a result of the snow dropping off tree branches onto the ground below.

The snow gets soft during the day and the sun pushes down on any dark spots on the surface. Overnight, it freezes again to lock oddities in place. That keeps cycling until a new dump of fresh flakes smooths it all off and it starts all over again with a clean white coat.

Honestly, more snow seems to temper the cold. As long as there is fresh powder around, the chill seems less harsh. After everything melts down to a hard crust, the air seems to offer a more severe bite.

It’s a bad combination when our bodies remain calibrated to above-freezing winter temperatures.

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Written by johnwhays

January 8, 2020 at 7:00 am