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Monday, November 17, 2014

Frosty Time


Looking out the window, or getting venturesome and actually getting into the great outdoors, it’s pretty obvious that we are moving through our autumn and toward winter rapidly. Here at our little J bar P ranchero, Patty and I spend time every day keeping our H2O in its liquid form for the animals. And griping, “It’s too damn early.” How and why our seasons take place is simply through the tilt our little planet takes on its adventure around old Sol each year.

We think of our seasons as numbering four, winter, spring, summer, and fall, but within each season, often, there may be one or two other separations. From December 21or thereabouts to March 21, again, or thereabouts, is thirteen weeks, but traditions going back thousands of years, at the midpoint, we find what is known as Groundhog Day, February 2.

According to ancient legend, if that little fur-ball sees his shadow we’ll six more weeks of winter. Looking at the calendar, one might discover that in six weeks, it will be March 21, thus the end of winter. Right now, much of the U.S. is facing sub-zero temperatures and wind driven snow and ice, and in five or six weeks, it will be winter. But there isn’t anything on the calendar with which to create a holiday. Darn.

Ah, but we did have Indian Summer. Didn’t we? Half way between summer and fall is another little weather phenomena that is seldom celebrated: The summer doldrums. So, we enjoy Indian Summer and dread the doldrums, rip little animals from their den for their day and condemn any type of weather that doesn’t fit our expectancy.

We did enjoy all Hallow’s Eve, better known in our section of the world as Nevada Day, and in other parts, Hallowe’en, and the next day, Day of the Dead. None of which has anything to do with weather. But is lots of fun.

All of the above is only somewhat accurate in the northern hemisphere, Reverse it, and you can get along fine south of the equator. I spent four of my wonderful high school years living on the island of Guam, 1952-1956, and everyday the temp would be low 90s and every evening, mid 80s, except during typhoons, when the night time temp would be in the mid 70s and we’d all but freeze.

Patty moved to western Nevada from Orange County, California and discovered winter for the first time in her life. What a revelation. Massive thunderstorms are her favorites, and I will find her on the back porch, mesmerized and excited. I always get excited about the first big snowfall of the season. After that, not so much.

If you’re not prepared to meet Jack Frost up front and personal, better git movin’ Pard. Until next time, read good books and stay regular.

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