Between the Waters

Ray

By: EarlB, 4:20 PM GMT on November 19, 2006

I stepped out of my home, leaving warmth and light behind me. I stepped into the early morning, though night, still, into a late season fog. Later, for this kind of fog, than I think is usual. I was immediately swept into it's feeling of closeness. My vision was reduced to a few feet and smoothed by the dark greyness. As I stood there disabled of one of my senses, I heard the night birds' calls, deer walking through the corn stubble, some unknown animal's chatter, more birds, ducks maybe.

It was comforting in a way, being temporarily blind, hearing what my eyes would never let me hear. It's been said, or I've imagined, that losing something makes one more keen in other ways. It is like the fog. It's like life, too, those of us that see too easily, don't know what we have missed. Take something away, and all becomes clear.

So, why do we crave that far-seeing vision that seems so comforting? Here is the fog, let's wrap it around us, comfort from the storm.

It's clear today, something is gone.

Goodbye fog. Goodbye Ray.

Updated: 1:12 AM GMT on November 22, 2006

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Present and Past

By: EarlB, 1:49 AM GMT on November 12, 2006

Today I took steps in two directions, one step in the present and another toward the past.

It all started over six years ago, a friend who we'll call Tex, for anonymities sake, dropped off a U.S. Weather Bureau instrument shelter, unsolicited I will EMPHASIZE. Knowing how I studied meteorology so many years ago, Tex thought that he was giving the relic (remember the name I mentioned? The NWS hasn't been the "Bureau" since the 70's) to someone who'd give it a good home. I'm sure Tex had his doubts over the six + years since delivery.

A month ago, my primitive wireless "weather station" (an outdoor temperature sensor) stopped working. Wanting, someday, to put weather info onto Weather Underground's network, I bought an Oregon Scientific system that is a "Cadillac". I now have temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction and speed all wirelessly at my finger tips. AND the instrument shelter has found a new, renovated life, doing what it was designed to do. I've left a min/max thermometer in the shelter just to remind me where this love of weather is rooted, helping me recall those days when I tended the college weather station with none of the "electronics" (unless you count the Alden weather fax with it's damp, sepia-toned maps, sometimes neatly folded into accordian pleats, stylish, but difficult to read!).

All I need now is something better than dial-up computer service (it's coming our way, it's said)!

Thanks Tex, for helping me close a circle.

Updated: 12:34 AM GMT on November 14, 2006

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Early Winter?

By: EarlB, 12:50 AM GMT on November 07, 2006

Our first taste of cold weather ushered in the Beaver moon this weekend. Saturday's and Sunday's low temperatures slipped into the 20's F, making short work of unprotected tomato and pepper plants in gardens in the area. But, with the cold comes the sweet perfume of woodstove smoke, as well.

I wake up early, even on weekends, and was surprised to hear so many birds just before sunrise, reminding me of Spring, except for the 29 degree temperature. This portion of the Middle Atlantic coast hosts typically more Northern birds through the winter. Song sparrows made up most of the melody in the early morning, and made up much of the activity through the day, flitting about looking for slow moving insects.

Forecasts of cold temperatures moved me to fill the feeders for the first time this season. Thus far, chickadees and tufted titmice have taken advantage of the "free lunch".

Deer are plentiful in the "front yard", this year. leftovers from 28 acres of corn is their larder. The deer are some of the best looking that i remember seeing, I regularly see five mature males of varying age, and many females. At least one set of this year's twins are regularly seen.

Rain is forecast for the next two days, followed by a warming trend. So much for the threat of an early Winter (predicted mostly by all-black wooly bears!).

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Getting Started

By: EarlB, 12:34 AM GMT on November 06, 2006

Here I am, another new trick for the old dog, opening an weatherblog!

I hope that the blog will be some sort of sweet combination of a science/nature blog. My college background was in geology and meteorology, I taught for five years at a marine biological field station as the "token earth scientist".

Since 1977, I've worked as a contractor to NASA on a remote sensing project that uses lasers to measure earth surface elevations from an aircraft. GPS makes possible a 10 cm accuracy (latitude. longitude and elevation) for each spot the laser illuminates.

The project has afforded great travel opportunities over the years, but by far I have gotten to know and love our yearly missions to Greenland, mapping the ice sheet and outlet glaciers, looking for elevation changes as a means of assessing the increasing loss of ice from the ice sheet.

My "observations" will be predominantly made from the Eastern Shore of Virginia (37 deg 50 min N, 76 deg W approx.), near the town of Metompkin. Metompkin is five miles from the Atlantic Ocean and ten miles from the Chesapeake Bay. The climate is one influenced by the proximity to water. Summer's heat is slow in coming, but the tempering effect of warm water temperatures make Autumns a delight.

Please excuse me my excursions: I might report in from "on the road", some para-meteorological phenomena might be reported. Be prepared.

A few years back, I met an American in Chile who was travelling the world and writing a blog as she went. Her blog is an impressive collection of her experiences, and she has shown me the way, I hope. So, if I do well and have a good time as well, pat ME on the back. If I should fail, blame it all on Amy!

Here we go!

Earl B

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