Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's glasses fogging season! #phenology

This week's earlier posts, wondering where Winter went, have probably brought this on: temperature in the low 20's; wind 20 - 24 mph; wind chill in the single digits; occasional snow flurries. Winter has been found. We may get just enough snow to put a partial coating on the trees.

light wind-driven snow coating conifers
light wind-driven snow coating conifers
Photo by J. Harrington

With several dogs to walk, I'm repeatedly into and out of the warm house and the cold air. If I remember to wrap a scarf around my face, my warm breath fogs my glasses while we're outside. Whether or not I forego the scarf, each time I step back into the warm house, the world disappears behind a curtain of fogged lenses.  That's particularly annoying if the lenses don't clear in time for me to see my way up or down a flight of stairs or to see the ring in the collar of the dog whose turn it is to go out next. Henceforth, again this year, I will try to remember to take off my glasses and put them someplace safe while I'm dog-walking. I wonder if Darth Vader had these kinds of problems with his artificial enhancements. At least the seasonal clothing change is going well. It can't be deferred any longer.

It's about two weeks until the Winter Solstice, the shortest day-longest night of the year. Then, a few days later, on December 25, Christmas, we get a different kind of Christmas present, an added minute of daylight. Well before that, though, in a week or so, we get December's full moon, on the 13th. Whether we get to see that or not is a function of whether the skies are cloudy or clear and our glasses are fogged or clear.

Winter


By Anne Hunter


Behold the gloomy tyrant’s awful form
Binding the captive earth in icy chains;
His chilling breath sweeps o’er the watery plains,
Howls in the blast, and swells the rising storm.

See from its centre bends the rifted tower,
Threat’ning the lowly vale with frowning pride,
O’er the scared flocks that seek its sheltering side,
A fearful ruin o’er their heads to pour.

While to the cheerful hearth and social board
Content and ease repair, the sons of want
Receive from niggard fate their pittance scant;
And where some shed bleak covert may afford,
Wan poverty, amidst her meagre host
Casts round her haggard eyes, and shivers at the frost.


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