One Man's Paradise

Winter

Hoback River, Teton County, WY

Hoback River, Teton County, WY

This is the view from my window after the first snow storm of the season. We are expecting 400 inches of the fluffy stuff for this winter. Can’t wait to see my surroundings covered with a pristine white coat.

For now, strong winds have blown the snow around. Negative 10 degrees and 20 mile gusts… Can you feel it?

Wind chill...

Wind chill…

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One Man's Paradise

Thursdays with Bearly: -5F

It is November 13, 2014. The thermometer reads -5F. This is way too cold for anyone spending the last couple of weeks in the Southwest. Freezing nose hair, burning skin after reentry, clam feet. It all comes back. It didn’t feel that cold last year in Alaska.

I hope my body and mind will adjust. Adding a down jacket and new gloves may help.

-5F

Granite Creek, Teton County, Wyoming

On my day off, I am couch-surfing in the library. Through the big windows I watch children play outside, throwing snowballs and doing somersaults from the snowy park benches. There it goes. It is all good. Just make the best out of it.

I have a warm bed at night, a hot meal during the day. Thank you.

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One Man's Paradise

Presently

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

George Harrison

Just another gorgeous day in paradise. No need to dwell on the past or fear the future. I am just taking in what the days are offering.

I am expecting a loud boom any time. An explosion. That’s how fast nature is changing. Probably it’s not that dramatic. Just appears to me that way after those winter days. First of all, there is so much light. Even before I open my eyes in the morning at 6:45 the sun is already up. No more amazing sunrise images for me, at least for a while. Too early for me… When I do my last round around midnight I don’t need a flashlight. It’s still twilight! During the day the sun stands high on the firmament, gotta wear shades, it is so bright. Glaring light barrels down from the snowy mountain sides. Too much light even for my tender greens. I have put seeds of bell pepper, squash, and avocado into small pots and they are going like gangbusters. Kept the seedlings in the house so far. Yesterday I put them in the greenhouse during the day. It must have been close to 80 inside. They love that.

The willow catkins have progressed a bit, after being stagnant for more than 2 months. The first wildflowers are out, although I still don’t know what it is. It looks like a little plant eating monster,  a dark purple mouth with fuzzy white teeth. The lawn pushes a hint of green much to the delight of our horses.

In the morning I heard the first flock of geese heading North. I could not see them at first. They were somewhere in the big sky. There. 50 or so, a small group. V-formation, high above the ground taking advantage of the prevailing wind. Not as the crow flies. The general direction is North, but for their own reasons they deviate from the prescribed course, maybe looking for suitable drafts? They may not soar as effortless as an eagle, but they sure go the distance. Where do they go? To Beringea, the paradise of the North?

One seabird with long orange legs and a skinny beak has made a rest stop at Puntilla Lake. Three seagulls and a handful of ducks also took refuge in the little open water the lake has to offer. A think crust of ice covers the water in the morning, testimony to the frigid water temperature. It is interesting to watch the breakup process, very different form freeze up. Trapped gas bubbles reappear, small ice bergs float around the lake shore. The lake surface goes from white to gray, to green and blue. There are insects in the water moving swiftly. They have one specialized leg that serves as a paddle.

May

May

April

April

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One Man's Paradise

Under cover

Who is it?

Who is it?

Some days it is about surviving the elements. When the temperature drops below zero and the wind kicks in we need to cover up, otherwise our skin would suffer from frost bite, which can happen very quickly. In our doorway hangs a chart about wind chill and the risk of frost bite. In strong winds, as we had it the other day, skin can be damaged within seconds.

On cold, windy days we bundle up and waddle outside in our bulky clothes like sumo ringers.

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Inside Out

The beauty of sub zero

Image: Ice flowers

The cold is back! Temperatures remain below zero degrees Fahrenheit during day and night. Gotta bundle up to walk and work outside. A day, when we venture outside only when necessary… and to take pictures of the beauty created by the chilly weather.

The window panes are covered again with ice crystals that look like Christmas trees or fairies dancing in the breeze. The Sun illuminates these amazing formations for a few moments just so they seem to float above a black void.

On a day like this, I am reminded of the mountaineers that like to climb North faces. Not seeing the Sun for days, enduring cold nights in snow crevasses, exposed to wind and weather. Is it the meeting with the Sun at the top, or the appreciation for the convenient life after a climb that keeps them coming back for more?

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One Man's Paradise

Brrrrrrr…

Bearly

Bearly

It’s going to get cold! A couple of days around -20°F are in the forecast.

Time for comfort food, reading near the fire place, dreaming about the beach? No, it’s great here the way it is. Wouldn’t want to miss this winter experience. A couple of inches of the white fluffy stuff and the place will just look like in the post cards. The ice crystals that were covering the trees are all gone. The humidity dropped and they just disappeared.

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