8 Feb 2017

7th February 2017Pt.2: Pass the snow shovel, please?


Tuesday 7th 30F, -1C, heavy overcast with light flurries of snow. It seems winter has returned to Denmark. With a week of continuous, sub zero temperatures and snow forecast. I doubt there's a full inch lying yet, but everything has taken on that badly whitewashed look.

An hour and a quarter's walk to the far woods. A cold wind and continuing light snowfall tested my next selection of supermarket "skiing" gloves. I could wear my default, scooterist's gloves but they are rather stiff and bulky for my relatively casual, rural walks. The sky proved to have some very slight variation in greyness if I stared hard enough in my default yellow sunglasses. It continued to snow lightly all day though without much extra accumulation. It may have reached a depth of one inch or 2.5cm in Euros.

Wednesday 8th 28F, -2C, breezy, heavy overcast, fine snow falling steadily. I walked to the woods in a minor blizzard. Stopping occasionally to try and capture the views. The snow flakes were small and light and lifted readily to the slightest gust of wind or passing  vehicle. Traffic was very light today. A salt spraying lorry passed and the driver waved as I stepped well off the road to let him pass unhindered. There was no obvious result of his activities since the snow settled just as before. The scooterist's gloves started off feeling rather chilly but warmed up later. Stopping regularly to take wintry pictures in a cold wind probably didn't help. There seemed to be about half an inch of snow accumulating per hour judging by the depth on previously cleared areas at home. A trip in the car to replenish stocks of stove fuel. Snow depth now at about 3" but highly variable whether it has drifted or been scoured away by the wind..

Thursday 9th 27-28F, -3-2C, breezy, heavy overcast, no new snow but more showers are possible in the forecast. The Danish news warns of numerous motorway accidents due to icy road conditions. There was no observable difference in local driver behaviour yesterday. This despite the roads being covered in thin, slippery snow. Does this mean that commuters can't read Danish? Or just that they don't read the Danish news before setting off? Or, do they have delusions of grandeur that they are winter rally aces? That would explain the three cases of heavy damage to the verges inside a one mile stretch of road.

Driver's pre-flight checklist: Driving nose to tail? Check. Driving in a low gear ready to overtake on double white lines? [If they were even visible through the snow!] Check? Cutting every corner despite oncoming traffic? Check. Bullying the car in front to drive faster by tailgating? Check. Welcome to the twilight zone of driving. You only have to look at the tracks in the snow to see that almost nobody was keeping to their own lane on corners. An unblemished, pristine, white carpet on the outside of every bend. When the snow isn't there the double white lines are completely worn away between bouts of resurfacing.

The roads were clear enough for a ride without inhibiting the traffic. Hands very cold going. Fine coming back. Crosswind became slight headwind. The air felt very cold but I was comfortable. An oversized fleece collar helped to keep the wind out. Several birds of prey perched on roadside trees. Including one gorgeous chestnut one glowing in the brief, winter sunshine. Only 12 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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