Last weekend was very cold, well below zero, and the river’s surface became even more solid. The cracks and fissures of a week earlier healed into sinuous patterns, which I found to be an interesting photographic subject – especially at the shoulders of daylight.
Twice on Sunday I saw skaters – traveling in pairs, some wearing nordic skates and carrying safety poles, and some (like the teen below) wearing hockey skates and using ski poles for support – enjoying the opportunity to skate for kilometers upon kilometers.
Last winter I posted a couple of times about a cool phenomenon, when snow settles onto our metal roof and slides, very slow, over days, toward the edge. In the right conditions, the snow bonds together into a sheet and, despite sliding over the edge of the roof, stays connected as a sheet. Yesterday I awoke to see these impressive sheets hanging outside my bedroom window, each at least two feet long.
I opened a window, and reached out to touch them. They were soft, fragile, and slightly wet, despite the 20ºF morning temperature. It had been warm (above freezing) the afternoon before, allowing them to slide slowly off the roof, but the falling evening temperatures trapped them in this frozen form.
Some time later that morning they fell off, as the temperatures warmed and a windy cold front arrived. This morning I see their impressions in the snow where it thinly covers the deck below.
I woke suddenly as the cat jumped onto the bed and leapt over my face to get to the other side. He likes that side, as it makes a good vantage point to look out the window and survey his territory. Following his gaze, I noted it was still quite dark – too dark to be yet awake – but with a sky more clear than had been forecast. I rolled over for a better angle and, yes, there she was, the full moon setting into the west. A partial lunar eclipse had begun a couple hours earlier, and I was fortunate to be able to see it still underway. Apparently, this was the longest eclipse of its kind in 580 years.
By the time I fetched my cameras – I was unprepared because the forecast was for clouds and even some snowfall – the moon had settled behind thick clouds. I waited, not too patiently I might add, because the eclipse was rapidly fading behind those clouds. When the moon re-emerged, I snapped a quick photo in which you can barely discern the remaining eclipsed portion at lower right.
The moon disappeared behind more clouds and the branches of a leafless tree. When it reemerged, and I had relocated outdoors, the beaver moon shone again in its full glory. Exposure was tricky, and I never got it right before the moon set behind its final cloud bedding for the night.
I used a Nikon D500 with a Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 lens. For more impressive photos – from better prepared, better located, better skilled photographers, check out this space.com site.
Today I enjoyed the last fresh raspberries from our berry patch – incredibly, due to the unusually warm fall weather, we’ve been harvesting berries right into November. And, despite eating a handful of berries with my breakfast every day, we’ve put away ten pounds of raspberries in the freezer. I look forward to enjoying them all winter!
Ten pounds is 15 very full quart-sized ziplock bags; two full grocery bags!
Once again – just like last fall – someone has been eating crayfish on our dock. Most likely the mink we saw here over the winter, or perhaps the otter I saw munching crustaceans this summer. I found parts of two or three crayfish this week alone!
About a decade ago, we cleared brush between the house and the road, and planted a set of young trees in their place. Last week, after long forgetting, we realized that – among the trees planted – was a pear tree. And, more impressively, there were several dozen, nearly ripe pears! Here are a few:
They’re quite tasty. Soon they will all be ripe. Time to make pear compote, pear crisp, pear sauce, and more…
We planted a couple apple trees about 20 years ago, and they’ve finally born a real bounty of fruit! It was tricky to pick them so Andy and Mara climbed into the tree and shook the branches until all the apples fell!
Today (22 September) is the fall equinox – when we have equal amounts of the day with sun and no sun. The length of the day is changing fast – indeed, faster than any other time of the year except spring equinox – and it is really noticeable every day. Today was rather cloudy, not a great day for solar power:
One of the great treats of September is the arrival of raspberry season. Pam’s raspberry patch, tended and cultivated now for almost twenty years, is bursting forth with berries. We pick and freeze a a pint or two every day!
They’re remarkably hardy, and will tend to keep producing after the first frost or two. We’ll be enjoying them fresh for the rest of the month, and frozen for the rest of the winter.