Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking forward to a bit of a warm-up

This cold snap will break soon...just not soon enough;-) But, check out those two days in the 20's ! Yahoo!

December 2017 Monthly Weather


December's monthly high average was low at 28F while the average monthly low temperature was lower than average at 10F.

The historical monthly average is High = 33F   Low = 17F

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Brutally Cold Day

Well, we finally have cold temperatures. In fact, the temps. are brutally cold. Our Greyhounds (and us) are going to have to be satisfied with just quick trips outdoors for potty breaks (for the hounds) and firewood gathering for us. The wood stove is going to have a hard time keep up with the cold today!
Source: National.Weather.Service... WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST FRIDAY... * WHAT... VERY COLD WIND CHILLS EXPECTED. THE COLD WIND CHILLS WILL CAUSE FROSTBITE IN AS LITTLE AS 30 MINUTES TO EXPOSED SKIN. EXPECT WIND CHILLS TO RANGE FROM 10 BELOW ZERO TO 25 BELOW ZERO. * WHERE... PORTIONS OF, CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND, SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MAINE. * WHEN... UNTIL 7 AM EST FRIDAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT COLD AIR AND THE WIND WILL COMBINE TO CREATE LOW WIND CHILLS. FROST BITE AND HYPOTHERMIA CAN OCCUR IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.More Information... BRUTALLY COLD WIND CHILL VALUES CONTINUE TODAY AND TONIGHT...

Monday, December 25, 2017

Snow Storm Total

 Snow Total thus far this year = 29.5"
We got 7.5" of snow from today's storm.

Birds in a Blizzard

Slate-colored Junco flies in to feed
We had blizzard conditions today. Birds were flocking to the bird feeder, and I tried to snap some interesting photos from up on the deck. I had one heck of a time getting a focus lock on my bird subjects as there was so much snow falling between me and the bird feeder.
Slate-colored Junco and Goldfinch
Unfortunately, none of the photos came out clear, but you can at least get an idea of the species that are most common for us this time of year.
Male Goldfinch and Chickadee
Chickadees and goldfinches are probably our most prolific birds during the winter, although the juncos are here in large numbers as well.
Male Cardinal
We are so pleased to have cardinals as regular bird feeder visitors. They are rather shy, however, and I had to have Drew photograph them through the window of the kitchen. There were two cardinals for our viewing pleasure today!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Yet another snow storm looms on Monday

... WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST MONDAY... * WHAT... HEAVY SNOW WITH BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON MONDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 11 INCHES, WITH LOCALIZED AMOUNTS UP TO 14 INCHES, ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE... PORTIONS OF NORTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTH CENTRAL, SOUTHWEST, WEST CENTRAL AND WESTERN MAINE. * WHEN... FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST MONDAY.

Weekly Weather

We have some truly cold temps. on the way. It will be too cold to take the dogs for walks on Wed.-Fri., and they will be bored out of their gourds until a warm-up occurs.

Caesar Pond

One hour of labor produced this path.
Between storms...We worked hard today in snow throwing, raking the roof, and shoveling. Then, after bemoaning the fact that I was too tired to play (and that it was too icy to play), I wandered across the street and proceeded to stomp out a path to the pond. This stomp fest took me one hour of hard labor. I would stomp on the ice-covered snow, break it into big chunks, pitch it aside, stomp down the snow below, move forward, repeat. That was one heck of a workout!
South shore of the pond
Then, I went back home and retrieved the camera so as to photograph the late afternoon sky to the south.
Then, the sky to the west.
And, finally the sky to the north.
Here is the house. We only have a few inches of snow on the ground at the moment, but it should start accumulating if the temperature stays below freezing for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Snowy Weather

Snow Total thus far this season:  22" snow
6am: we have 7" of snow. Next up is freezing rain, followed by rain...UGH!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

More Snow

Snow Total thus far = 15"
We had 5 inches of snow overnight.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Maine Mineral and Gem Museum

Sorta sister, Shannon, took me to the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, in Bethel, for my birthday. At the moment, the museum is very small, but shortly (in 2018) it will house the finest collection of Maine minerals and gems. The new facility will become a research facility, museum, educational facility, and I can't wait!
Here you see me posed with a big beryl boulder just outside the museum door. I couldn't take any photos inside the museum if I was going to post them online, so you'll have to go there yourself to see what's inside (although I did take a few photos of meteorites as they have a fabulous collection!) Here is some information about beryl from Geology.com.

Beryl is a mineral that contains a significant amount of beryllium. Beryllium is a very rare metal, and that limits the occurrence of beryl to a few geological situations where beryllium is present in sufficient amounts to form minerals. It mainly occurs in graniterhyolite, and granite pegmatites; in metamorphic rocks associated with pegmatites; and, in veins and cavities where hydrothermal activity is associated with rocks of granitic composition. These different types of deposits are often found together and serve as an exploration model for finding beryl.Beryl is also found where carbonaceous shalelimestone, and marble have been acted upon by regional metamorphism. The famous emerald deposits of Colombia and Zambia have been formed under these conditions. The carbonaceous material is thought to provide the chromium or vanadium needed to color the emerald.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Magical Birthday Card

I got the best ever birthday card today. Shannon and Billy gave me this Quilling Card. It is the art of rolling and coiling small strips of paper to create patterns. It dates back to Egyptian times. The art got its name due to the use of bird's quills to coil the paper upon. This is so stunning! And, I do love birds;-) Go to QuillingCard.com for lots of gorgeous greeting cards.
Here is a close-up of the head of the heron.
And, here is a close-up of part of the feathers of the side of the bird.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Snow Total Thus Far

Snow Total thus far this winter:  10" of fluff!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SNOW DAY # 1

We got 3" of snow, and now the mixed precipitation will begin soon.


Check out the warming temps. as the afternoon and evening progresses. The temp. will be above freezing until 3am! Crazy and not fair. It will be a super icy mess on the roads tomorrow morning. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Snow Storm Total

We got 6" of snow from this storm. The first snow plow of the season went by, as did the sand truck. Then, the daytime temp rose above freezing.


Here is the next week's weather. We are in for a mess on Tuesday, if that storm pans out. We should get between 3-5 inches of snow mixed with rain. Absolute UGH to that storm. We had so much mixed precipitation last year that it was almost a bust snow-wise with tons of ice. It looks like this is the weather future for us this year as well. By the way, this is a weak La Nina year.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My new hat and our first winter storm!

Neighbor hound, Sugaree, was kind enough to pose with me!
I went to a local craft fair last weekend and bought my newest winter hat. I love, love, love it! The only problem that Drew has with the hat are the owl's ears. Me? I don't quibble about fluffy ears. Any owl would be proud to sport them;-)
Here is a close-up of the hat. It is a grainy photo, but you get the gist of it!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Weekly Weather

I know, I know...when are we going to actually enter into winter-like weather? Well...after next Saturday, we'll be dumped into the deep freeze. Yay!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 Monthly Weather



Check out November's monthly weather! Our highs were exactly on average and our lows were a bit below average at 26F.
The historical monthly average is High = 44F  Low = 29F

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Weather

Well, it is still going to be somewhat warmer than usual this week. Although, there are days when it feels so raw and cold! The wind can suck the warmth right out of our bodies...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bertie McBat

Bertie McBat is made from saw blades, a wrench and nuts.
Well, the metal work doesn't stop at the big bird. Liberty Farm and Forge allowed me to choose a smaller piece for free, since I'd purchased one of their larger pieces of art.
Bertie McBat sits atop a long pole that sticks into the ground.
He will travel from garden to garden in search of mosquitoes!
I chose the bat. I respect little brown bats because they are voracious eaters of mosquitoes, and I Love Bertie McBat! Look at those chompers!

Ernest P. Mower Bird

I name thee "Ernest P. Mower Bird."
Wow, what a day! I attended the craft fair at Mt. Ararat High School, with Neighbor Shannon, and came home with quite a haul. I love supporting local artists, and fell in love with some metal work last year but didn't purchase it. This year, I felt the tug of longing for one of the big birds. We went to check them out and I just couldn't resist.
Ernest P. Mower Bird covets the bird seed at the feeder!
This big, metal bird was created by John Liberty who, along with his wife Debbie, scours the earth for old metal tools, farm implements, etc. At Liberty Farm and Forge he crafts the artwork. "Ernest P. Mower Bird" is named for our dearly departed neighbor, Ernie. Why? Well, Neighbor Ernie loved sitting atop his mower all summer long. He had a beeeautiful yard...And, Neighbor Ernie would have loved to have crafted something like this. He too was artistic and ingenious.
Ernest P. Mower Bird checks out the stump next to the wood pile
Ernest P. Mower Bird's feet, legs and tail were crafted from scavenged parts of an old McCormick-Deering spring-tooth harrow which was used to till the land for farming. You can also see the big, old wrench used for his neck.
Ernest P. Mower Bird checks out yet another stump.
I think he might want to eat some moss and shrooms!
A well casing was used for his body and lawn mower blades were used for his beak. He is one handsome bird. He has spikes on the bottom of his feet that push into the ground so that he can stand on his own anywhere in the yard. Gosh, I love this bird!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Flying Squirrel sighting

This afternoon, Drew was on the roof cleaning out the gutters. While he was on the back side of the roof, he was afforded a direct view into the hairy woodpecker hole, in the ash tree next to the back porch. To his surprise, he found himself in a staring contest with a pair of large eyes that belonged to a small squirrel (between the size of a red squirrel and a chipmunk.) The squirrel vacated the hole and scampered to the opposite side of the tree trunk where Drew lost sight of it. The only squirrel that we know of with large eyes is the northern flying squirrel! I know that they must be around as I saw one about 16 years ago, but I can never catch sight of them as they are nocturnal. Yahoooo! Now, I really want a trail camera to capture their activity;-) Gotta start saving my pennies!

Monday, November 13, 2017

First Snow of the Season

Yahooo! We've got snow! 
We got 1 inch of snow out of this storm. Unfortunately, we are not ready for snow on the roads which are icing up. Cars are sliding off the road. Ugh... Not looking forward to tomorrow morning's commute to work.
Here is the radar map for this evening.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thin film of ice on parts of Caesar Pond

We finally had a calm morning with just a hint of a breeze later on in the day. This allowed for a bit of thin ice to form on the southern edge of the pond.
All the wind overnight whipped the pond to whitecaps and coated the grasses with dripping water. This froze into pretty icicles.
There are thin sections of ice near some of the islands as well.
And, the grasses have a bit of ice that has formed on the blades.
Most of the leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees, with the exception of beech trees and oaks. Here you see the brown leaves of mainly oaks on the western side of the pond.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tis going to be a bit chilly today!

Shiver me timbers! Tis going to be cold and windy today! 15-25 mph wind with gusts to 40 mph. We are getting water jugs ready just in case the power goes out again;-)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Project Learning Tree workshop held at Bates College

I am super psyched! I spent last Saturday, with my Maine Project Learning Tree associates, at a workshop to introduce the new PLT E-Units now available for purchase. These online versions comprise parts of the popular PLT books that focus on forests for STEM and experiential learning. They are fabulous!
I got to pull out all the stops and reprise my summer workshop activity using tree cookies as learning tools. An added bonus was a Bates student (future experiential science teacher extraordinaire) who assisted us with dendrology. He was incredibly knowledgeable about what a tree cookie could tell us about the health and history of a tree's growth.
I also had participants create their own model of the inside of a tree using some simple materials. Fun, fun, fun...

Winter Sunrise and Sunset is early no matter which way you look at it!

Click the calendar for a larger view
No matter which way you look at it, Daylight Saving Time or not, we would be going to or from work in the dark. My solution is to shorten the work day;-)
Click the calendar for a larger view
Finally, on Dec. 17th the days begin to lengthen.