The last week in December was mostly gloomy. Fortunately the temperature stayed well below freezing so we did not have that dreaded winter thaw. Then, just before midday on the 30th, the sky cleared, and the temperature crashed. For the last morning in December, and the first four days in the New Year, the thermometre registered a steady -30C. It heated to about -18C in the day, and the sun was spectacular.
Every day I strapped on the snowshoes and went for a tramp.
During the dull weather, Harry finally started to work on his book. But how can you expect a guy to stay inside, hunched over a computer, during weather like this! We first re-broke the trail to the north bluffs.
As always, I had fun picking out the abstract shapes of the snow shadows.
Because of the cold temperatures, the snow surface had developed a fuzz of crystals. In this clear, cold air, there is not a cloud in the sky. Now I was at last able to see where the sun was rising and setting. Nearly two weeks after the shortest day there is already a small change to the north. In the morning, first light is around 7.00:am by the clock. As it grows stronger, a beautiful salmon colour appears in the south east.The first sun hits the mountains at around 8.00:am.It soon strengthens and picks out the land forms in front of the mountains. And it finally enters my house shortly after 9.00:am.Instantly, it is hot inside, and the stove is allowed to go out.
Another day, another hike.I had broken trail at both ends of the loop around the south bluffs, but the section in the middle was deep and soft. Harry has forged ahead and made the trough in the snow.
I came down to my neighbour’s road. He has kept it ploughed. I liked the abstract shapes and textures of this composition.I had started a bit later than I intended, and the sun was going down fast.The light is always more photogenic at this time, but I prefer to get the stove relit before sundown otherwise it gets chilly fast inside the house. However, this beautiful light was worth a bit of minor discomfort.
As I lit the fire, I heard Badger walk onto the deck. He thinks that if he stares at me intently enough through the window, I will open the door and let him in. And of course I do!The forecast was for cloud and snow on the night of the 3rd, but when I got up at around 5.00:am on the fourth, the sky was diamond clear. The stars glittered and the waning moon lay on its back like a boat. And the temperature still registered -30C. However, by the time the first light should have appeared in the sky, it was suddenly overcast and the temperature had jumped up five degrees. It reached -12C that day! So warm that, when it did snow, I was brushing the solar panels clear without even bothering to put a coat on.
Once again, we had beautiful crystaline flakes. However, before it was light enough to properly photograph them, another flurry of small flakes all but hid them. This is a small group on my van window.Later that day, the sun broke through for a while. As soon as it touched this fairy fluff, crystals rained down in glittering, golden cascades.But that was the last of the sun. Now it’s back to gloom. Every day, the forecast says we will have sun in two days time. But the next day the clear weather is still two days ahead. This is what happened during most of December. So who knows when we will see the sun again.