We're having a series of snow days here. On Friday, they closed the lab and all the schools; the ski hill people are rejoicing at getting some real snow at last.
It's so beautiful out there. Dave and I had been worried about this business of living in snow, being wimpy Californians. But how cool (literally!) is it to wake up, look out your window and see a wintry landscape with snow-fog curling up from the Rio Grande in White Rock Canyon?
The first time we saw it, we wondered how fog can exist when the
temperature is below freezing. (Though just barely below -- as I write
this the nearest LANL weather station is reporting 30.9°F. But we've
seen this in temperatures as low as 12°F.) I tweeted the question,
and Mike Alexander found
a reference that explains that
fog consists of supercooled droplets -- they haven't encountered
a surface to freeze upon yet. Another phenomenon, ice fog, consists of
floating ice crystals and only occurs below 14°F.
It doesn't just sit there until it gets warm enough to melt and run off as water. Instead, the whole mass of snow moves together, gradually, down the metal roof, like a glacier.
When it gets to the edge, it still doesn't fall; it somehow stays
intact, curling over and inward, until the mass is too great and it
loses cohesion and a clump falls with a Clunk!
We see lots of rabbit tracks and a
fair amount of raccoon, coyote and deer, but some are hard to identify:
a tiny carnivore-type pad that might be a weasel; some straight lines
that might be some kind of bird; a tail-dragging swish that could be
anything. It's all new to us, and it'll be great fun learning about
all these tracks as we live here longer.
[ 10:17 Jan 31, 2015 More misc | permalink to this entry | ]