Eagle River Weather

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome Back the Sun

We waited for 2 months and now the sun has finally come back. It had been cloudy for the past few weeks but on the 22nd the clouds cleared and we had a nice surprise. Here is a picture of my first glimpse of the sun:

Yeah it was cloudy and hazy, but it was still magnificent. A few days later the skies cleared and the sun really showed it's brilliance. We even opened the yurt windows and let all sots of natural light come flooding in. Here is a picture of Leo enjoying the novelty of shadows:

In fact, he was so excited we came inside and celebrated with ants on a log. (you know celery with peanut butter in the groove and raisins in the peanutbutter) I had to give him very small logs or this happened:

Keep those fingers away from the camera buddy.
Here is a picture of a phenomenon known as a sundog.

Can you see the faint rainbow off to the left? It's caused by sunlight shining through ice crystals in very high (cirrus) clouds. Sometimes, if the conditions are right, it makes a full rainbow around the sun. I've only seen that once.
Lastly, here is a repeat of a photo composition I posted in early November.

Unfortunately, the last time I took it I had my image quality on its lowest setting. No good for wanting to print pictures. When the opportunity presented itself again, I just had to grab it. I thought a little bit of yurt was a nice touch too. It might look like the sun is just rising but is is actually appearing and disappearing from behind the mountains. The sun is not traveling across the sky but rather doing a shallow arc above the horizon. I took thins photo at 1:00pm.
I hope you all are getting to enjoy some sunshine too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bitter Cold to Windy and Mild

Last Friday Nicki did a wilderness medicine and survival course. She got to practice emergency medicine, start fires, and sleep in a snow cave. All this took place between -35 and -20 degrees. Go winter survival. Here is a picture of Nicki holding a signaling flare.

Another cold, clear, full-moon night led to some more great picture taking. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get away from the yurt to take advantage, but I made the most of it.

This photo shows you what happens when the neighboring valley is sunny and ours is cloudy. The sun projected the outline of the ridge onto the clouds. When things cleared up we were able to match the actual ridge with the picture of its outline.

Three days after the previous photos were taken things started to warm up around here. We went from the negative teens to the 40's in the space of 48 hours. It has been pouring rain and the wind has blowing extremely hard. Here are two pictures of the property taken two days apart. Man, things can change quick.

Nicki's brothers, Andy and Peter, got us a wind gauge for Christmas. The fastest wind it has recorded so far is 50 mph, but we think it has been blowing harder than that. I think I need to get it up on a pole and off the railing to get a better reading.

And, finally a quick video of our fun in the wind. The beginning of the video is for all you yurt owners or potential owners. It shows you the cinch buckle and strap we added to the yurt for wind. It helps keep the window flaps and side wall from moving. It has made a really big difference and only needs to be put up when wind is in the forecast.

Wish us luck getting up and down our driveway. With all this slushy ice, We'll need it.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Icy Times at the Yurt

With temperatures deeply entrenched in the negative degrees (it has been hovering between -15 and -10 for about a week), ice has been taking hold on both the outside and inside of the yurt. While temperatures inside the yurt remain in the 60's, ice has been forming on any surface that even lets a little bit of the cold air in. The bottoms of the doors, and top and bottom of the wall, and the base of the skylight are affected areas. Here is a picture of one of our doors.

While not too much of a problem now, I'm not looking forward to having it melt and spread across the floor. Occasional interior ice removal missions have been executed.
The cold temperatures have also had an effect on our driveway. The spring, that runs along it and then beneath it through a culvert, has frozen solid and is now making it's way on top of the driveway. I'm calling it Schneider Glacier.

Again, while not much of a problem now, when this glacier advances for the next 3 to 4 months of winter, we may have a bit of difficulty getting in and out of the driveway.
Not that ice is all bad. It has some beautiful effects as well. The snow cave I built Leo has been a perfect place for very large ice crystals to form.

Crystals like these are also forming on the yurt any where air is escaping. Here is one of our wind flaps with a nice layer of feathery crystals.

I don't want to dedicate the entire post to ice, so here is a picture taken from our deck of a waxing half moon above a shoulder of Cumulus Mountain.

The night time skies are already brightening with the approaching full moon. It should be clear and cold, excellent photo opportunities. Hopefully, my next post will have had some warmer temperatures (+20's), pictures of the yurt in moonlight, and, dare I say it, in the sunlight. :)