Bend’s had a low precip winter through January, now finally getting a wave of storms. Over three days we got a good few feet…
First visit up to the mountain this season – Twas a lovely 50F, summit lift open, great afternoon had by all.
I’ve got a lot more photos, expect a followup post!
I was able to join a tour, with the Forest Service, county officials and assorted ologists, of last summers Pole Creek Fire. It burned nearly 40-square miles of the Deschutes NF, private land and Three Sisters Wilderness Area northwest of Bend.
Took the ole camera along with me, here’s some shots:
We had a unusually exciting Monday due to some freak weather conditions. The day started with over and inch of snow – on this tax day – having begun falling before I woke and continuing a couple hours into my morning at work. I was feeling meteorologically inclined today, so here’s a blog post about the weather!
That’s the view from my office window, no mountains to be seen today!
A good breeze brought the sun, melting everywhere but the tiny shadowy corners by maybe 3pm.
This was followed up by another storm front, dropping an hour of really good graupel. Yep, you read that right. It’s a fairly complex phenomena to describe, here’s a Warticle about it. Supercooled water vapor latches rapidly onto snowflakes, turning into a soft styrofoam-like hail.
It’s really unique when it gets deep. Eventually the pellets changed over to a light snow, but not before coating all the streets over again.
I decided to share the graupel with our flock. The reception was inquisitive and exuberant.
You’ll notice they’ve become rather gangling and bristly since their last appearance on this blog 🙂 Jaeda however…it didn’t amuse her. I think she was also disappointed by my graupelman
Also the word graupel is pretty great.
View from the 15th floor out West from downtown, snowstorms rolling in.
I’ve generally avoided politics on this blog; a good idea if the peace is to be kept.
My interests in politics skews more towards the past and future – rather than day-to-day soundbytes, breaking election coverage, moneyball statistics, and 24/7 ‘newz’… Instead, I enjoy examining the historical aspects of politics, which like history or fiction have uncanny and reliably predictable themes, the same stories retelling with different actors. In this way, politics can be appreciated, predicted, and enjoyed for what it is, as well as providing a curious glimpse into humankind at a higher level.
So where was, I? Elections? So yep, Barack won – I’d say he earned it. It’s not an easy job and he’s done well enough, dealing with a lot more shit than most Presidents. I have serious concerns about drones, domestic privacy, education, PAC’s, and myriad other issues, but as I mentioned above, I won’t get into politics on this blog. That’s my election synopsis for now, Political Science BA and all 🙂
I’m also incredibly busy with work currently, specifically clients in the Sandy…and now nor’easter… ravaged post-apocalyptic wastelands back East (NJ and surrounds). I’ll try to keep the posts coming, there’s always adventures to be had 😀
With the warm weather ramping up, our front garden has really come alive. Perennial stuff abound, especially herbs: chives, pineapple mint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, and sage.
This second shot below is of our side deck and the hops, which seem to be taking over the thing a couple feet a day.
Also, tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, just lettin’ ya’ll know 🙂
Warmer weather is a nice thing. The grass turns green, the flowers pop up, kids fill the playgrounds, picnickers hit the parks…and my moped can come out of hibernation.
Drove it to work for the first time this season, and aside from chilly hands and cheeks, it was a lovely ride. Couple things I need to remember for next year though:
1. detach the battery so it doesn’t drain dead
2. don’t leave the tank full of stale gas
3. wear gloves if it’s even slightly chilly, because at 25mph there’s some serious windchill!
As a followup to my previous post, here’s a short video of a few cars being defeated by a light dusting of snow.
It’s official: People in Omaha don’t know how to drive in snow.
It’s an odd realization to come too, since this place is rather snowy in the winter…big midwest snowstorms that roll in and don’t melt for weeks.This impressive discovery was made from the convenience of my own home, indeed via the double windows directly behind me as I stand here at my desk. Said windows look out upon our hilly road, thusly:
Keep in mind that this picture was taken nearly a week after the snowstorm. There’s still ice on the road. Temperatures had yet to rise above the mid-twenties, even in the sunny afternoons…with nights as low as 2 degrees.The result of this, of course, being that the road ice hasn’t melted.
For this last week, the spectacle on the street has been both reliable and hilarious. Cars try to make it up the street with drivers clueless about both driving technique and apparently the laws of physics…especially those governing inertia and friction. The disheartening part, is that some of these people are literally doing damage to their vehicles…gunning the engine, wheels spinning at 70mph,melting troughs in the ice until their wheels are spinning on pavement, thick clouds of rubber smoke pouring out as their vehicle sits in place. This is almost exclusively sedans and minivans. The 4×4 folks crawl their way up our hill like it was a pleasant summer day.
I can’t say that all Omahans are clueless either. There’s the few vehicles that take the hill at a steady speed, and those with light feet who don’t let themselves lose traction in the first place. It’s unfortunate how many are clueless though, and end up sideways in front of our house, sliding backwards while still gunning the engine…creating polished slick patches for the next car.
It’s not just our street either. On a trip to Iowa over the weekend,we saw dozens of abandoned vehicles strewn across medians, some looking like they rolled or hit other vehicles. Facebook was abuzz with people who got into accidents. Even our own little Honda was briefly uncontrollable, mere feet from our driveway.
It makes me want to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Why were there lines at McDonalds? Crowds at the movie theater? People traveling at all?
This seems to be more of a phychological…or perhaps sociological…issue. People look outside and know that roads are dangerous. Cars accidents are already a leading cause of death and injury nationwide and that accidents are far more likely in bad weather. So why do people travel? Why do they feel that a Big Mac is worth risking a car accident? Is the increase in risk not fully perceived when making the decision? Do rational people weigh this type of danger low because of faulty logic, car commercials, or overconfidence? Do car drivers know when they’re approaching my house, their vehicle can’t possibly make it up the hill, but try anyway…or are they oblivious?
This little sideshow out front has allowed me to witness human decision-making in its most primal form. I can see the faces of those people; extreme panic, anger, frustration…I can see their decision process as they gun the engine, as they sit and pause to think, as they look around them for ways to either u-turn or tackle the challenge. It’s an interesting glimpse at the base decisionmaking that people make, and I certainly am in those places myself, all the time. What is most interesting, is how each driver is so different. Every person makes thousands of small and large decisions every day, and I get a perfect closed arena to experience this diversity of decisions, right from my window.
Shot this from my phone last month while driving to Atlantic, Iowa. Also, yes I am aware that my spelling of thundrestorm in the title is not the ‘typical’ spelling. I’m testing this (some say more traditional) spelling…to see how I like it. So far? I like it.