Friday, March 20, 2009
THE EQUINOX and THAW WATCH #2
The Vernal, or Spring, Equinox arrived in my time zone at 7:44 am EST (photo left). Of course, since blogging has expanded my world view, I realize that all four of the major annual divisions, Summer and Winter Solstices, Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, mean the opposite to those in the southern hemisphere. The planet seems a lot bigger to me now, because through blogging, it's gotten so much smaller. I'm losing both my Northern and North American default perspective, and I couldn't be happier about it!
My Thaw Watch posts didn't have much of a run. The first one was on March 11th, and the chilly below-freezing nights kept things mostly unchanged. Then, as if right on cue for the local observance of northern spring, Lake Erie suddenly and overnight lost all it's ice landscape except for the shrunken remnants of the two biggest 'mountains.' (for more photos, see the previous post for Skywatch). Immediately, the waters teemed with mergansers, scaups, golden-eyes, buffleheads, and the odd grebe. Throw in the gulls and it's a raucus mad scrabble out there on the open blue. So far, there hasn't been enough wind to raise waves, and it's still too chilly over night to have the window open, but before long I'll be having to get used to the noise again. The lake comes up right to the armor rocks at the breakwall, so it's either a calm quiet or a loud slapping or even some crash-boom, not the gentle lapping of waves sidling up to a sandy shore. It usually takes me a few restless night to get used to the drama after months of winter silence.
Here's a view of the backyards facing Point Pelee, including a tiny bit of my patio, the low white building. The freeze-up came so quickly last year I didn't get a chance to empty those white hanging flower baskets, and they sat there all winter, conveniently out of sight under a big drift. (click for details)