Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Moving on

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Mine was nice but I'm sort of glad it's all over. Every year just seems a little more rushed and hectic than the last. Or maybe that is just me. I almost want to just celebrate Solstice instead because that makes the biggest difference in my life. The mood elevation from just knowing that daylight will increase gradually each and every day for the next six months is amazing. I still like New Years though. No gifts, not much craziness (we don't even stay up for it anymore). Just a sense of a clean slate and a new beginning. What will 2008 be like? What do I want it to be? Things to ponder in the waning days of '07.

Monday, December 17, 2007


A few years ago I spent a lot of money on a pair of neoprene waders. And even though I only have cause to wear them a few times a year, there are times when they are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. Especially last week. A few days in Pike County Pennsylvania doing stream work in water that was 1.4 degrees C. That is 34 degrees F. Really, reallllllly cold. But I stayed warm for the most part. Except for when we have to measure cobbles and boulders submerged in the stream to determine how fast that stream gets going during peak flows (the size of the material moved tells us that). I don't have elbow length neoprene gloves. Plunging your bare arm in water that is barely above freezing is like one million little knives stabbing your flesh and then you stop feeling anything. I feel cold just looking at these pictures again. But it was a pleasant experience overall. A stream in wintertime, especially with waterfalls and ice coating the bedrock walls is a calming thing. And a cleansing thing in a way. Cyndy, this is Saw Creek in Lehman Township, near Winona Falls. Is that near you?

Speaking of ice, we've had two ice storms in the last few days. No snow, but tons of ice and wind. There are lots of limbs and sticks to pick up and I think I lost about half of a very large butterfly bush. I really don't like ice and I have a feeling that we will be seeing a lot of it this winter season.

One week and counting and I still have a few gifts to buy but nothing terrible. This month went crazy fast, not helped I guess by being out of town for awhile. I'm looking forward to having off for a few days. Hopefully there won't be any ice.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

first snow

We had our first snow yesterday. Only a few inches but enough to cause a normally 30 minute commute into nearly an hour and a half. But I guess that always happens the first few snows of the season. People have to get a little refresher before things run smoothly.
It was pretty, but I'll be glad when it is gone. I am really not a snow person. The chickens are really not that happy about it either. All the girls have moulted and regrown their feathers except for one. Violet started moulting over the weekend and this will be a cold few weeks for her. Poor chook.

Next week I get to go away for a few days to far northeastern PA and do stream characterization. Stream work in December is fun. Getting your hands wet when it is in the 30's isn't something I look forward to.
I haven't started Christmas shopping. I bought Christmas cards but they are still sitting where I put them in the middle of November. I have this awful feeling that the next few weeks are going to go really, really fast.