As I alluded to in the last post about being somewhat near the Smoky Mountains, Goddess and I spent the better part of the last two weeks in the sweltering heat and humidity of Virginia and Washington, D.C.
It really isn’t the heat, it really is the humidity.
Which is a large part of why we live out on this side of the country.
It was a great visit, full of family and friends. Plus, Goddess had never been to D.C., so we did a bit of sightseeing too.
This is my favorite angle to view the Lincoln Memorial. Long-time readers might remember this night shot from January 2011, which was a similar view, but closer.
We’re back home now. It’s till hot, pushing close to 100°F (38°C), but at only 15% humidity, it’s quit bearable.
Even in these temperatures, we were able to get in quite a few rousing games of bike polo this evening.
Something I wouldn’t even dream of doing in the humidity out east.
Goddess, Skinny and I took a nice break today, exploring back and side roads in the national forest just outside of town. The weather cooperated nicely, being a relatively balmy 52ºF (+11ºC) and cloudy here in town, rapidly changing to 35ºF (+2ºC) and neurotic mix of rain, snow grains, snow, ice pellets and snow grains throughout the day as we climbed a few thousand feet and spent the day there.
It really couldn’t have been better, although some of the back roads really weren’t ready to be driven on. We’ll go back later in the year when it’s drier.
Moving from spot to spot, I always had an eye out for anything that caught my eye.
Goddess did not see it, but sure felt the seat belt doing its job as I tested the brakes, found a spot to turn around, zipped back down the road and turned around again, pulling up right in front of this recently felled tree.
“This looks fun!” I exclaimed. I think I heard a curse word, although in my mind it was agreement.
A nice light snow falling, a spongy mat of soaked pine needles and complete quiet.
Approaching the tree, I couldn’t help but think of pictures from the TV show “Game of Thrones“. We’ve never watched the show, but the way the branches splayed out from the felled trunk sure looked like the blades from that throne.
I did try to figure out why the tree was cut down. I’m not an arborist, so I couldn’t see any easily identifiable reason to cut it down. But I do know that the forest service here is very methodical about where and why they cut down trees, so there must have been a good reason.
And for my selfish reasons, I’m glad they did.
By my count, this tree lived about 160 years. That’s 16 decades of feast, drought, disease, and fire.
Getting through all of that is a good life by any measure.
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Just a few days left!
In case you missed it, I’m having a spring sale on my photos – 20% off of your pre-shipping costs. Just use code Spring14 at Bill Anders Photography. It’s that simple.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to sit and just be, for just a short time, at a location that, 20 years ago, was my place to go and just be.
Luckily it’s a state park and it hadn’t changed much in those two decades.
It was great to have the quiet place all to myself. All to myself, at least in a human sense.
The thousands of waterfowl there were taking advantage of the relatively warm winter that kept the ponds almost ice-free. They made sure it was not quiet.
Those specks at the top of the frame are some of the birds. Full size, there are a lot of them in this image. Or, as Goddess and I would say, there are a lot of dinners in this image.
The ones in the air are circling, ready to set down on the pond and join the thousands that were already paddling around. You can see the scout dead-center, framed by the clouds, as it dropped down ahead of the flock to make sure everything was safe. But here they are safe. And we’re glad that they can have this sanctuary.
Here’s a full-sized crop from just right of top center:
Down to -3°F (-19°C) earlier this week, with 8″ (20cm) of snow on the ground. The cold air was trapped down here in the valley while the upper elevations warmed up. It was a juxtaposition of reality, with the mountains surrounding us turning brown as the snow melted, we down here in the valley stuck in our houses due to the ice and snow.
It took six days for the schools to open. It’s been five years since the valley saw snowfall greater than 1″, so the collective memory has forgotten.
Mid-week, we had friends in town. A quick visit, never long enough. Goddess and I discussed ways to keep them here, including letting the air out of their tires or padlocking the door to their room.
But during their last couple of years here in the Pacific Northwest, they had not visited Crater Lake. I declared it would be a shame for them to leave the area without seeing the view.
So after a couple of hours of slip-sliding on the roads to get there, they got to see. And they understand.
For Goddess and I, it was amazing to see the snow depth difference between today and Black Friday, less than two weeks ago.
About the name of the photo – it’s a dig. Although I’ve been aware of the chemtrail folks, I’ve recently viewed a lot more traffic on their viewpoints lately.
As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, we were getting snow. The rocks that we were standing on to take that photo got somewhere between 15″-20″ of snow overnight.
Down here in the valley, we picked up 6-8″, depending on where you stood. Walking through the forest at sunrise to get this photo, I pushed through knee deep spots in places.
It sure was nice. Although I couldn’t see the sun.
It was still snowing, as you can see by the streaks in the photo.
Or you can play with the fake snowflakes on the screen by moving your cursor around. Make it a gentle snow or make it snow sideways.
But back to real weather, we’ve established a trend.
Other than one short-lived snow day in spring of 2012, this is the first measurable snowfall here in town since 2008. What’s changed? Goddess and I are here. Prior to that, the first winter that we lived in Germany was the worst in 40 years. The second winter, the worst in 41 years.
Anyone want us to move near them? The stipulation is that it has to look like here. And feel like here.