Gripping.

Cold here today, -20 C  at 7am when I went to breakfast.  Not often we get that kind of cold and it sounds like it might be around for a while.  Creek is frozen right to the middle and the only open water is where the ice eater is working around the pilings.

Grip 1s

The pool of open water gets smaller as the temperature drops but it still keeps the worst ravages of the ice  from damaging the dock.  The Boat?  It is safely  residing in a heated shed for the winter at a  local boatyard , some routine maintenance and refurbishment of the varnish, boy am I glad I chose this winter for the work.  One of the coldest on record here with consistent temperatures below freezing , been about three weeks since we have seen positive values.

Had an unusual daytime visitor late yesterday.

grip 2s

Late in the afternoon Rocky Racoon appeared , he (or she) seems to have a frostbitten left front paw and was scrounging for sustenance around the base of the bird feeders, slim pickings there after the avian ground feeders had left.  I made him two large raw bacon sandwiches,(streaky on white bread) and took them carefully out  the back door, Rocky slipped behind the shed while I was outside, but he/she was hungry enough to reappear about two minutes later and dig in.  I’ll repeat the exercise today at dusk, it might just tide Rocky over until the weather breaks.  No cruelty in nature but only the fittest make it through winters like this and apart from the paw Rocky looked pretty healthy, good coat and a fine bushy tail.

No outside work at these temperatures, I’m almost as old as Janus.  Probably spend my day entertaining myself by finishing up my tax returns.  Roll on Spring.

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  1. February 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    That, LW, looks seriously cold! Shudder – I really don’t think I’d enjoy living where you are at the moment!
    Hope Rocky makes it.

    Roll on Spring indeed.

  2. February 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Brrr! We had some snow and ice a couple of weeks ago but now it’s grey winter again.

    Let’s hope you don’t get the chance to make a Davy Crocket hat!

  3. christinaosborne
    February 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I gather it is that bad right from the Great Lakes to Florida!
    I really don’t know what happened this year but we never had a winter at all. It has rarely dipped below 32, mainly hovering just under 40 at night and up to nearly 60 in the days. but it has been very wet with the coastal plain frequently looking more like paddy field.
    The witchazel has come and gone so has the jasmine, the early miniature iris and crocus have done their bit and we are on to daffodils, early rhodies and forsythia!
    It really doesn’t bode well for the plants this year, insects haven’t been killed off, the slugs are big enough to put saddles on!
    Thank heavens I finished pruning the roses, they have shoots 3″ long, quite ridiculous.
    I noticed in town yesterday that the weeping willows were coming into leaf and the magnolias have huge fat buds about to burst into flower. Everything is at least a month early if not more like 6 weeks.
    I must say I do not like it! Vaguely un-natural.
    You do not seem to have too much snow, spare a moments pity for Boston, Over 100″ and still coming.
    We haven’t even had enough snow in the mountains to keep open ski resorts, most of them have closed down. Not a great bother in itself but that snow would be needed later to keep the hydro dams working this summer and for drinking water. Ouch! I can see some real problems come the summer if it is very dry!

    Love the racoon diet!

  4. O Zangado
    February 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    That’s a lot of global warming you’ve got there, LW.

    OZ

  5. February 21, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Hi LW,
    Seriously cold that is!
    I have a old pal who lives in the wilds some fifty miles or so from Dawson city, where they are used to seriously cold winters, but I noticed the other day that while most of the Yukon was in the -20’s or so , Whitehorse was +3. It seems a strange winter. Here, I have primroses in bloom and my Rosemary bush is in flower. Very strange.

    Like you, I’m eagerly anticipating the onset of sailing weather again. Hoping to have a sail this year down through the Chanel du Four, (which can be exciting) across the bay of Biscay to La Rochelle perhaps, while stopping at points of interest on the way.

  6. February 21, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Just seen on the news “record highs” in Alaska, daytime temps up to the mid 50’s (f)

  7. February 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    That is cold LW. Sorry I missed your blog yesterday. I was at the beach 🙂

  8. February 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    What is an ice eater ?

  9. February 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Hello all. Not so cold today, temperature has rocketed up to -5C in anticipation of 4 to 6 inches of snow later this afternoon. Seriously weird weather all winter, colder here than Montana or Alaska, no snow in t he West as Mrs. O. points out but the Eastern slopes are booming, when they can be reached.

    Jazz: Ice eaters are electrically driven propellers which hang underwater from ropes to circulate warm bottom water to the surface to melt ice, they work pretty well if the water has decent depth and will clear the worst of the ice from around a dock in all but the most extreme temperatures. Here’s a piccy.

  10. christinaosborne
    February 21, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I was in Lynden yesterday, a small town positioned neatly in the full force of Arctic NE winds down the Fraser river gap. They have hardly blown at all this year and those that have not with the usual cold. The whole place was decked out with magnificently full on blooming camellias, positively eye stopping!
    No brown damage from cold etc. I have never seen them that perfect before outside here, looked more like a cool conservatory.
    The whole thing is quite extraordinary.
    Yesterday afternoon, I topdressed my asparagus bed with poop, only just in time, the bloody thing has started shoots already!! That is a good six weeks early here.

  11. February 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Murica is such a land

  12. February 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    …of superlatives, I was about to say. Don’t y’all agree?

  13. christinaosborne
    February 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Well to be fair, this corner is climatically, geographically and botanically one of the best places I have ever seen in the world!
    Pity about the denizens!
    I often wonder how such a magnificent landscape can breed such boring, mundane and diffident people.
    I do so miss the more trenchant attitudes of the Welsh. They can be vastly amusing at times, probably not to most of the English though. As you know, I have rather an off beat sense of humour!

  14. christinaosborne
    February 21, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Plus, plus plus it is not overcrowded! Country properties never have less than an acre, generally 5-20 per household, no neighbours to get on your nerves. England is ghastly these days, no privacy, give me the wilds of upper Carmarthenshire any day.
    Seattle now is a different matter, full of queers, weirdos and immigrants all busy being aggravating and posturing to each other in one way or another! Haven’t been there in years and no intention of doing so either.

  15. February 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Mrs O,
    Maybe you’ve hit the nail on the head. The “magnificent land” didn’t breed the current occupiers did it? Following occupation by the settlers the whole basis of society changed from “take as much as you need to survive” to “take as much as you can get” Come on people, tear the arse out of everyone else, the environment you live in and sod the consequences as long as “you” get rich. It’s the whole idea behind the “American dream” isn’t it? It’s a jolly good starting point for a society that only cares about “ME”
    I know it’s wildly over simplified but………

  16. christinaosborne
    February 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    JL that may have been true in the past but certainly isn’t true on the West coast now. Sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishing are very much in vogue. There is far less clear cutting of forests now.
    Far more organic and local farming going on, everyone is obsessed with food miles etc. Retail outlets make a point of selling local food and identify the actual farm from whence the produce came.
    Most middle class + people are obsessed as to where their food comes from.
    The poor shop at Walmart etc = Asda and eat imported crap but no one else does!
    National forest and parks are sacrosanct, far less chiselling at the edges than in the UK, and certainly no wind turbines etc. No buildings even roads are allowed, you want to see it get a string of horses!

    I think that the only industry left with that attitude is fracking. Even then there is obsessive testing of ground water etc.
    Strangely Canada has now got a far worse reputation that the USA for desecration of landscape. The wrecking of Northern Alberta and poisoning of water has become quite awful which is one of the reasons the USA doesn’t want their pipelines. Tar sands extraction is a very messy business indeed and produces very ‘dirty’ oil. Bunker fuel type stuff.
    A while ago Canada tried to make an issue of air pollution coming from the USA, they did all sorts of tests and found it was their own self generated pollution! Plenty of red faces and that report was buried so fast it wasn’t true, Quite amusing.

    Another thing I like about the USA they will not allow certain strategic plant to be held by foreigners. Some time ago one of the major East coat ports was being bought by a syndicate of carpet munchers. The govt. stopped the sale dead in the water. And quite right too. Pity the UK didn’t do likewise a long time ago.

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