Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me....

I forgot a critical fact about life in the mountains yesterday afternoon: the time of the sun rise and sun set do not matter; what matters is when the sun is above the mountains. Period.

For example, today the sun rise happened at 7:10 am, and the sun set is scheduled for 6:31 pm. Obviously, approximately those same times would have been true yesterday.

The problem with those numbers when you live in the mountains? Those numbers have absolutely nothing to do with when the sun manages to peek over the tops of the mountains, and then when it disappears behind them again.

This means, in practical terms, that right now the sun does not start shining upon my cabin until approximately 10 am and disappears again no later than 4 pm. (Though for approximately another hour, it is close enough to the top of the mountain that there is still enough light to see.)

So yes, I get actual sun -- assuming of course that is a clear day! -- for only about 6 hours per day.

Yeah. Good stuff.

The problem yesterday? I was so obsessed with my rant about snow falling, and excited about the sun dappling my trees and melting some of that snow, that I completely forgot and left my snow boots on the porch.

I had taken the dogs on a lovely walk earlier, and with how sunny it was, I figured I'd take full advantage of the heat.

As you see, when you are this high of an altitude, the sun is that much more intense. So when the sun is up -- there can be snow on the ground, the thermostat can read temperatures in the 20s and 30s in the shade -- and yet you can be in a t-shirt in the sun.

So I left my snow boots on the porch by the front door to let the sun melt all the snow off of them, and have them nicely heated up for my afternoon walk. Problem was, I completely forgot. By the time I remembered -- that is, by the time I was finally ready to head out for the second walk, the sun had slipped behind the mountains.

Damn those boots were cold!

Of course, damn the entire walk was cold! Having gotten caught up in writing projects, I had also lost track of time -- and left far too late for a comfortable walk.

Still, all was not lost...

On the way home, the older dog, Mika, suddenly stopped on the drive and stared fixedly. This is often a nervewracking event -- after all, exactly what has she spotted? Is it big? Scary? Or small?

Thankfully, both dogs tend to be more fixated by the small creatures. They love to chase and harass the squirrel sized animals. This was no different.

Except that it was. For my first time, I finally spotted a pine martin! And they are seriously the cutest animals ever. It was like a small kitty had mated with a badger, and climbed a tree.

I shall call this one (lovingly of course) "Honey".


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