Getting Old

I often wonder when I create the title to each weeks entry if folks read it first and wonder what it will relate to. This weeks title could apply to seveal things. Me, the covid mess, lots of other things. However, when I used this phrase, I was referring to the weather. 

The “big” storm that was to hit us last Sunday night through Tuesday ended up being an under achiever. We got a fair amount of snow, but there were few places in the western UP that saw the minimum of 12″ fall and no one picked up the 18″ in the western UP. There were lots of 12″+ totals in the central UP and some locations around Munising picked up 18-22″. My final total was 12″. We picked up 5″ by sunrise Monday morning and then another 5″ through the day on Monday. Here is a snowfall map that shows the 72 hour totals ending at around 7 am eastern time on Wednesday. It looked like it was all over by Tuesday morning, but then some snow shower brought us another 2″ later in the day on Tuesday. Here is a shot of the front of the house when I was walking the dogs Wednesday morning. Probably around 5-6″ of snow depth, but it was also COLD. At least for april 15th. The temp was around 12.

We never had more than 8″ on the ground, but it was a wet and heavy snow and took all week to melt. In fact, there was still some snow hanging on in areas that were shaded by yesterday evening. None the less, we were able to get some more yard work done yesterday, including some tree trimming in the front yard and removing some of the storm windows so that when it does finally warm up, we will be able to open some windows and let “The Cleanest Air on the Earth” flow in!

Also in preperation for the upcoming warm season, we ordered a garden cart. It is one that can be both pulled around by hand and by a mower. It came in a giant box and come Friday, Gracie was looking for something to do, so I asked if she wanted to put it together? She answered with an excited “Yes!” and so I helped her unbox all the pieces and put them in the office, which is kept at a wamer temp than the shop. I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Grace is exceptionally smart and is good at figuring things out. She follow directions better than I ever have, but it was also a pretty big job. The one thing I did know was that she would give it her best and I was so happy that she wanted to give it a try. No matter the outcome, I was determined to let this be a fun thing for her and also for it to blossom her confidence even more.

So she spread all the parts across the floor of the shop and got to working on it. I kept busy with my own projects, both inside and outside the office. Each time I stopped my own work to see how hers was going, she had completed another step in the build process. She was really having fun and in a little over an hour, she was putting the final touches on things. She did an outstanding job and I made sure to tell her that. There were only a few instances where she needed help and it was not because she did not understand things, but that an extra hand was needed to either lift one of the larger or heavier pieces into place, or to hold a piece while the other was fitted. Nora and Grace did put the cart to use in yesterdays yard work session and it will see a ton more work as the months and years go by.

Not long after we were done with the yard work, the rains started up yesterday evening. I was grilling dinner outdoors and I sensed it was a different kind of rain, one that we have not seen up here for probably 8 months. It was a warm season rain. What do I mean by that? Well, first off, this is not some kind of official meteorological term, although there are some scientific features to support why it is different. Anyway, for one, the air temp was still in the 50’s when it was raining and did not really cool off much once it started. The second thing and this is the biggest factor to me, is that there was that smell that occurs during and/or after a warm season rain. It is not really the rain that I was smelling, but rather the microscopic organic matter that was either released by the rain or nurtured by it. Kind of hard to explain what I was smelling, but sort of a musky, earthy smell. The smell that I only sense during the warm season. 

So that smell helped to keep my spirits a bit more propped up, even though it was raining and turning the ground all soggy again, as well as causing us all to remain indoors. I even had thoughts of the summer thunderstorms to come and actually felt a bit of an emotional lift. Upon waking up, I looked outside and saw nothing but white. Temps had fallen behind the front that came through yesterday evening and the rains had changed to snow and accumulated to around an inch or so. I actually had to do a double take, as I was surprised to see the snow. None of the Dee’s were too happy about the snow, but we also realize it is not uncommon at all to see an inch of snow fall anytime in April. I guess the thing that made it harder to stomach this morning was the fact that we have not had a 60 degree temp yet. We all know those days are coming, but cannot come soon enough!

Here is a shot of our road taken around noon as I was headed from the office to the house to have some lunch. It has snowed off and on all day, but by around 2 this afternoon, the suns energy was strong enough to melt most of it off, so we are back to bare ground again. Will it last? Perhaps, perhaps not. We do have a few more light snow shots coming at us into Wednesday and then warm enough for anything that falls to fall as rain.

The creatures of the woods have made their change from winter habits to the warm season habits. The deer all moved out and headed north a few weeks ago. We still have a few down here that will spend the entire year here, but the big numbers have dwindled significantly. That takes a bit of the stress of driving off. Some of the warm season birds have returned. The first robins were spotted a few weeks ago and now we have breeding pairs in the yard, gathering things for their nests as well as finding a meal. Nora said she spotted a finch the other day as well. No bear have been spotted yet, but I am sure it will not be long before they are. One of Nora’s friends sent her some pics of a big old bruin that has been hanging out in her yard the past week or so.

The week ahead looks to start cold and then warm enough that by Friday we will be in the upper 40’s and then low 50’s by Saturday. I have been working in the shop to continue to bring it up to full speed. It is still weeks away, but I am not rushing things either. Plus my finger is just starting to feel good enough to not have to restrict what I work on. It still has a scab at the tip, about the size of a dime, but stretched out so that once axis is longer than the other. It is still quite sensitive to bumps and the cold. Another reason why I am looking forward to the warmer temps!

I plan to head to town tomorrow to pick up the fencing and weather permitting I hope we can get it put up this week. Poor Bleau and Huck have not been able to run around since we moved here. We do take them for walks, but they both, especially Bleau, love to run free.

Once again, I hope you all have a great week and stay healthy. 

Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD

 

Irony