12 Feb 2017

11th February 2017. Snowball Earth?


Saturday 11th 30F, -1C, windy, cloudy but the sky is quite clear in places. Even windier than yesterday and supposed to gust to 30mph for most of today. A neighbour's large flag was stretched absolutely straight out, smooth and unwavering in the easterly wind. A nervous flock of about fifty Redwings is going round and round the trees in the neighborhood.

By the time I had walked around the three mile, rural block the Redwings had doubled their number to over 100. Untidy rooks and jackdaws moved about in large flocks and foraged noisily. The bitterly cold wind must be making it hard for the birds. A solitary Blackcap came down and sat briefly with some larger hedge sparrows before moving on. Ponies were out in their pastures rather than huddling in their dark sheds.

The sky became divided into wide strips. Dense and darker stripes divided smaller, fluffy clouds which let the weak sunshine through. It is becoming darker and more overcast now that I am back. Saturday's shopping ride will be straight into the wind! And it was. I read 10 m/s from the east, on a pocket anemometer, when I left. The air felt very cold but I was quite comfortable apart from my face. I can't stand to have my mouth or nose covered. More of a crosswind by the time I arrived at my destination.

Returned with a more helpful wind to push my heavily laden trike back up the familiar hills. I am continuing my habit of climbing out of the saddle on as many hills as possible. Though it is often a struggle to find the correct gear when I am normally spinning at 90-95rpm while sitting down. A much lower gear is required to have something to push [and pull] against.

The wind was roaring in the trees as I passed through a neck of the woods as sunshine brightened the road on the way home. It is amazing how tree felling  affects the view and the feeling of what was once obscured and enclosed. The light changes completely for some homes. Only 15 miles.

Sunday 12th 30F, -1C, windy at times, heavy overcast. Meant to stay dry but cloudy with 12m/s, 25mph gusts. It was literally roaring just now as the trees rocked against a navy blue, northern sky. An icy cold wind as I walked briskly to the village and back. My face was as bright red on my return as it was after yesterday's ride. Three ducks and then ten more raced overhead. Flocks of blackbirds  moved between hedges on opposite sides of the road. Two small birds with snow white fronts and a hint of yellow edges paused before flying off. I have no idea what they were. They could easily have passed for warblers in summer but I think they all go south for winter. Not a wagtail nor a long-tailed tit either. Moles have no conscience. Their often spherical mounds of earth have popped up everywhere. From lawns to verges to fields, nowhere is safe from their excavations. The mounds often collect snow and freeze so hard that it is like hitting a rock with my toe. Though only if I should fail to see them in the long grass.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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