Every fall I make noise about attending one of the big fly fishing shows over the winter, but by the time I feel ready to deal with a couple thousand anglers, all at once, the shows are over and done. The closest show to Fish in a Barrel Pond is in Marlborough, MA, this weekend, and quite frankly it’s just too soon. You all go ahead with your eager anticipation of the season to come, but some of us are still recovering from the last one. Opening Day will be here soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the peace and quiet.
The January Thaw is a mostly reliable annual phenomenon, occurring when a shot of warm air moves in from the south for a few days, providing a short respite from the deep chill of winter. Tall snowbanks shrink, drifts settle, and eaves drip, while ice turns to slush and the remains of winter’s First Act seek their own level.
This year’s thaw came last week, with temperatures climbing to near 50°F a couple of times and a string of three nights above freezing. Quite a contrast to the previous 72 hours, which included a few hours well into the teens below 0°F. The warmest chicken in the coop was the one in the middle on the perch; the one on the end, against the cold north wall, was found dead on the floor in the morning, which was a first for me. Chickens are usually pretty darn tough but, even with a heat lamp and plenty of fresh water and food, it was a rough morning in the coop. Twenty four hours later, though, the survivors were taking full advantage of the warm temperatures and lengthening days, roaming their pen, picking bugs off the melting snow.
The thaw is brief, and another cold snap usually follows, turning melt water to polished ice and saturated snowbanks to concrete. In the space of a week the weather swings wildly, from deep freeze to false spring and back again, and a quick, unscientific survey of the locals finds that moods follow roughly the same pattern. It’s not the short, dark days of winter causing SAD; the days start getting longer as soon as winter begins. It’s the pain-in-the-ass factor, which is both literal and figurative, especially with polished ice hiding beneath fresh-fallen snow on the way to the mailbox.
Spring will be here soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll try to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Sometimes it seems winter dominates this blog, partly because it dominates life in these parts for nearly half the year, and partly because it is when more of my time is mine. Looking through the archives, I find some pretty crazy stuff during the winter months but I also find themes that repeat, in slightly different forms, from one year to the next. I pledge no more posts about raking snow from roofs or moving piles of it with the tractor, so enjoy the peace and quiet.
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That’s a new widget, by the way, another change to these pages, but it’s small potatoes compared to the other new widget, Department of WTF, with Quill Gordon’s Facebook Mug Shot. That’s right, Quill Gordon has a page on Facebook!
Even before this, the official Official Announcement, 29 people have found and “Liked” old Quill on Facebook, more than quadrupling expectations! When I shared this exciting news with some of the younger folks in our village, they laughed and said “Dude”. Then they held up their phones and took my picture, debating the relative merits of #pathetic vs. #rusticrube. I prefer #lateadopter, but they’re right. Twenty nine “Likes” ain’t exactly viral, so click that widget and show Quill Gordon some like. Introduce your friends to Quill, too, so as many people as possible will be around for the Big Surprise Announcement.
Big Surprise Announcement? Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the peace and quiet.