Sunday, January 23, 2011

January Cold

Siberian huskies are built for cold weather.

A Saturday morning sunrise. I spend a lot of time sitting at the kitchen table looking out the window. I doubt you'll ever find it prescribed in books like Seven Habits of Effective People, but it enriches life. Our culture enshrines the industrial values of productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and time management; and it is difficult for many people to loaf and look out the window. The sad truth is that I am actually quite effective when I get moving, but it isn't something I take great pride in. I always have suspected that people who strive to be "effective" are in some way like addicts who need to continually validate themselves through accomplishments. Sorry, you hyperachievers, I think you have a problem. I ponder things like this when I'm loafing, but also while I'm working. For instance how can you measure the effectiveness of time spent rocking a baby, or visiting an elderly person? You can measure a pile of rocks if you are into piling rocks, but how many piles of rocks do we really need?

As you can see, I am hopelessly conflicted by the whole subject.

Talking with Sam in Virginia.

Sunshine at this time of year is a luxury that needs to be savored. I find it hard to find anything more worthwhile doing at moments like this.

The dogs agree, I'm sure.

This looked like the start of a perfect day- clear, calm and cold.

But of course, we knew better. Lake effect snow was brewing up to the north and about to overtake us.

A sun dog. These form on either side of the low winter sun during cold weather when there are ice crystals in the air.

Cold snow is powdery like fine dust.

All good things must end. Eventually I got out and shovelled off the roof and contributed several hours of labor to the common weal.

Fortunately, evening puts an end to my effectiveness and allows for more loafing by the kitchen window, this time by the light of candles. The candle in the middle is burning in a large piece of vesicular basalt taken from Rockhouse Point.

A cold, but full moon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


What's happening inside the house?

Shearing Day!

Three bags full.


...and after a heavy snowfall.

Lights from our Christmas Tree reflected in the window.

Grandpa blowing out his driveway during. Ninety years old and still loves to fight old man winter. Although this looks like a snowstorm, the sun was shining only a few miles away. Lake effect snow is very local. If the copper veins had been located along the shores of the Keweenaw Peninsula, instead of along its high spine, nobody would have ever built these mining towns, or any other kind of town for that matter in the snowbelt. The Indians knew better, they lived along the lakeshore.

I've gotta admit that blowing snow can be fun when the blower is on the front of your tractor. Wrestling with a walk-behind blower is misery.

David's cabin

This winter I got my snowplow back into operation and use it to plow light snowfalls. When the banks get big, I just blow them away with the blower.

The greenhouse is now the white house.