Friday, January 30, 2015

Blizzard Day

This was going to be a blow-by-blow eye-witness account of the Blizzard of the Century*--it becomes a rather lame after-the-fact post because the internet inexplicably went down for two-and-a-half days.  Mind you, we didn't lose power, nor phone--just internet.  (My guess is that Verizon is trying to hush me up.   Or keep me in the dark.  Or maybe just goofed.)

1/27/2015     Blizzard Day
Yesterday began storm photo project.  My plan: take a time-lapse series through the storm by resting camera on sash of open dining room window and centering field of view on base of multi-trunk hickory.  Took a few photos in fading light of pm, and even in darkness; camera seems not to go no slower than ¼ second, but that may be enough. 

Aiming for photos every two hours or so, but not losing sleep over it.**  Plenty of action forecast for tomorrow.  Near-hurricane force winds, whiteout, the works.
This morning went out and set up tripod on deck, took a minute or so of video, but little action: winds thus far nowhere close to that feared.   Snows almost knee-deep where not much drifted.

My photo series is being done by resting my camera on the sash of the open window looking out over the back yard, and centering the field of view on the base of a multi-trunk hickory in the woods.  For reference, the tomato stakes in the garden at foreground left are 2-3 feet tall, and the cabin of my little boat rises 12-16 inches above the foredeck.  

At 10am snow is now a little short of knee-deep in the shallower parts I keep to, but drifted a good deal deeper where obstacles interfere with the wind.  I set up my tripod this morning on the deck that is in the midground of the photos.  Then I took a minute or so of video, but winds are not strong enough to cause much action.

It doesn't look like much change between photos, partly because the wind is doing a lot of sculpting, and not necessarily leaving much in this view.  I have been watching the snow build up on the boat's foredeck, finally beginning to merge with the snowline on the roof.

Weeks after filling the bird feeder there has been no apparent interest by any but squirrels; today, steady visiting by tufted titmice, black-capped chickadees, house sparrows, slate-colored juncos (cleaning up the mess below), and a male cardinal.  Excited to see one bird I didn't recognize: fine beak, tan or yellowish unmarked breast, very striking long, off-white eyebrow.  More that I can't remember.  Needless to say, I couldn't nail it down in Sibley (lousy birder that I am).  [Sometimes I try to really LOOK at something, but when it comes to birds, I have better luck reaching for the camera right away.]  [I think I nailed it on a second visit: Carolina wren.  2/9]

Monday, 1/26, 4:32 pm.  It began snowing very lightly in the afternoon,
filling yesterday’s deer tracks.

Monday, 1/26, 9:23 pm last night: light snow continuing from mid-afternoon.

Tuesday, 1/27, 6:10am, snowing more heavily.

Tuesday, 1/27, 9am, snowing fairly heavily, rather windy.

Tuesday, 1/27, 11 am, snowing, a little windy; tripod visible near basketball goal.

Tuesday, 1/27, 1pm, snowing, a little windy.

Tuesday, 1/27, 4 pm, light snow; ski track leads to tripod & into woods.

Tuesday, 1/27, 6pm, light snow.

Wednesday, 1/28, 3 pm, snow has ended.

Like most Big, Big Event forecasts, this one didn't live up to its billing.  It did dump a lot of snow, though just how much is hard to say, since the depth varies so much due to drifting; but I wouldn't argue with two feet, on average.  But there was much less wind and visibility was never too bad.  Of course, if winds had reached anything close to the 70mph of some predictions, we might still be shivering and trying to keep the pipes from freezing, instead of looking out the window with mugs of hot coffee at our elbows, so I shouldn't complain.  But just plain snow doesn't make for such dramatic video.

1/27, balanced on the same window as in the stills.

1/27, taken from tripod in the midground of stills;
some wind, but nothing to write home about.

Linkin, a dog of small stature and smaller brain,
is confused to find his world so shrunk.

*I know it's true because of all the air time it's getting.  Of course, the century is very young, yet.
**I like Thoreau: "What is a winter unless you have risen and gone abroad frequently before sunrise and by starlight" --but I'm afraid I love my warm bed too much.

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