Power

hidden message

The Hidden Messages issue of qarrtsiluni is continuing to unfold. As usual, the second month of the issue is busier than the first, with a new post going up every day, so be sure to check back often. There’s a lot of really powerful stuff going up.

writing on the snow

I wasn’t looking for messages, hidden or otherwise, when I went for a walk with my camera yesterday morning. I did get some pictures which I hope will be good enough for a post I’m planning to write for the next Festival of the Trees’ special edition on fruit trees and orchards.

When I was still a mile from the house, a snow squall blew in, and I got some pictures of that, as well. It was exhilarating to walk along the crest of the ridge with 40-mile-an-hour winds whipping the trees back and forth and at times reducing visibility to about ten feet. (During those times, of course, I kept my camera under my coat.) Unfortunately, not everyone was out on foot: I learned this morning that the whiteouts caused accidents and pile-ups on highways all around Pennsylvania.

Yes, we f---ing got milk

I got back just in time for lunch, looking more or less like the Abominable Snowman. At 3:00 o’clock, we headed down the mountain to my niece Elanor’s third birthday party, and moments later the power went out — a neighbor from the valley called to let us know just as we reached the bottom of the hollow. This time I forgot to bring my camera, so I don’t have a photographic record of Elanor’s high-energy antics as she whirled and tore around the apartment.

We returned to the mountain two hours later to fire up our small gasoline generator, cook supper, and keep the pipes in my parents’ house from freezing as the temperature dipped to zero (-18° C). Sometimes when the weatherpeople say “cold front,” they really mean it! Fortunately the wood stove in my living room and the earth-sheltered design of my laundry room are enough to keep my own house warm. But the generator requires refueling every hour and a half, and it’s a two-person job, so Dad and I had to stay more or less awake until the power finally came back on at 2:30 in the morning. Oddly enough, when we laid bets hours earlier about when the power would return, 2:30 was my mother’s exact guess. I’m not sure what hidden messages she’d been privy to.

Here’s a brief video that should give some sense of the elemental power of the storm.

Blog subscribers should either click through to the post to view the video, or go here.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

6 Comments


  1. Great post and video, Dave. I wish we’d captured the 9o kmh storms we had on the west coast of Vancouver Island last week, but the accompanying rain and sleet was not good for the camera.

    Reply

  2. Heh! A beautiful sunny day, then sudden wind, and now it’s snowing sideways here too! Your video is more dramatic though–thanks for sharing the feel of the storm. I thought it sounded sleety amid the wind, no?

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  3. marja-leena – Yeah, it was probably foolish of me to risk my camera as much as I did, but it seems to have survived O.K. It’s so dry indoors this time of year, that I figured the thing would have no trouble drying out.

    Sally – No sleet this time. That’s just poor acoustics! I’m using the video setting on my digital camera, as opposed to a real video camera, so the mike is pretty primitive.

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  4. Great video, Dave, I felt like I was there……no snow for us this year (a brief flurry that didn’t stick)…….I’m jealous.

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  5. Brr. We had sideways snow on Sunday, too, just after the thundersnow. Well, just after a nice sunny break after the thundersnow, then another squall blew in – and I do mean “blew” in, rattling all the windows really hard. Then it blew out again. No power loss here, thankfully.

    We’re expecting snow all night, and then heavy rain tomorrow. Possibly a bit of calm on Thursday.

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  6. Jo – Sorry to hear about your snowless winter! I couldn’t hack that.

    Leslee – We got over five inches of fresh dry snow today, on top of the 3+ that were there already, and tonight we’re supposed to get a couple more inches of sleet. The warming isn’t predicted until tomorrow, so I’m not sure whether that will translate into a final layer of freezing rain or night. I’d prefer snow without a crust, but what the heck – this is by far the most snow we’ve had on the ground all winter, so I’m not complaining.

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