Sunday, November 25, 2012

Get yer Vitamin D this winter!

Day 7 of frost, still small crystals but forming layers on all the branches. So far I would say we have not had a shortage of sunlight. It was 10° at 9 a.m., so biting. Here we have a beautiful view of Penguin and Raggedtop on the opposite side of the valley. 

The cold and frost did not stop a small group of skiers and riders from hitting the slopes. I should say slope as most of the mountain is closed due to low levels of snow. It has been recommended that only experts take the new Ted’s Express due to icy conditions. Here is Max’s with some little fluffy clouds that just moments before were brilliant pink. The trees in the foreground are covered more with frost than snow.

The icy conditions also apply for walking, keep your ice grips on unless, like me, you walk on the edges of the path. The edges are extra crunchy right now because of the layers of frost building up. But that makes for good foot grip especially with deep tread shoes. 

In my little section of Girdwood, I have been entertained by a pair of magpies, a pair of Steller’s Jays and a few chickadees. However, it has been so cold I have not seen them in a couple of days. My thought is they have moved closer to the mouth of the valley where there is more sunshine. Up here at the T, Max’s will block the sun more and more until late December when I may not see the sun until well after 1 p.m. Last year I lived in a cabin along Alyeska Hiway below Crow Creek Road. We fed a pair of Steller’s Jays all winter. The birds were so used to us giving them sunflower seeds, they would come knock on the window if we were late! 

Here is a photo of Max’s at 11 p.m. tonight. The glow at the bottom is from the mountain lights being on during snow making. We were in Anchorage today and when we returned, the fog was so thick entering Girdwood we could not see the mountain lights from the Seward. It was thick when we left at 3 p.m. coating the trees in a grey shroud. At night, though, there was ice fog creating crystal prisms up and down from the streetlights, it was 12°. The trees at the Seward Highway where you enter Girdwood must have an inch of frost on them. However, once we got to the T, the mountain was clear and the stars were visible. Bizarre little micro climate here. 

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