Thursday, January 17, 2013

Siberian Winter in Utah

It's awfully cold here.

Maybe it's not quite Siberia, but it's unquestionably colder than my freezer in the garage.

The roofs in town are adorned icicles, including my own.

Good thing I have an electric melting wire in my gutter or else I'd have Monster Icicles stretching all the way to the ground.
(They used to do that before I got the warming wire.)

As it stands, they are simply hanging artistic touches which provide me great joy.

I do wish I had remembered to fold up the picnic table before winter took over!

I believe it's industrial grade.  Well, I hope so anyhow.

Timpanogos from the top of the driveway.

Notice the clouds clinging to the mountain?  Happens a lot, here in the Rockies.

My kids learned to ski on that very same mountain at Sundance Ski Resort.

At least once a year, I'd even break away from work and go skiing with them.

ARIAN and GINGER in 1996

In fact, my daughter and her husband were skiing in Colorado
just last week
while he was attending a radiology conference.

My kids also loved a winter hobby nicknamed 'bizzing'.   It requires really low temperatures and lots of snow.

I would tie a long rope around the back bumper of my car and knot the other end to a sled.

I'd gun the engine and send them whipping around the corners of the church parking lot.  

Around and around and around we'd go!

Oh how they loved it!

Now-a-days, I put on my Sorels :

and a pair of Yaktrax on the soles of the Sorels  :

Then I tromp through the snow, experiencing the winter magic at close range and in slow motion.

Can you see how much snow each delicate wild oak branch can hold?

BELOW you can see the larger effect on a gamble oak - Utah's native species.

I took this shot from my front porch. My garage is in the lower left-hand corner of the photo.  

I often wear my Sorels with Yaktrax just to walk up the driveway and pick up the mail!

However, they are a real necessity to hike the canyon during the winter months.

This shot was taken near the trail head where a bridge was installed to span the riverbed.

Here's Ms. Chica on the front side of the mountain, with a view across the valley. 

Some mornings I wake up, glance at the outside thermometer,
and crave a bit of this:

Ginger - Age 9 at a beach in California.

Patience.  My time will come.

Right now, I get to enjoy what I've got.

This, for example:

Wild rosehips peeking through the snow in the canyon.

Quite lovely.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Frolicking in the Snow

Snow IS magic

  . . . especially for children, but not excluding the adults.

My goddaughter Victoria had the brilliant idea of making a snow fort. 

Kelty pitched in, not only with the shoveling but the digging of the cavern.

Below, she is inside the cavity, scooping out snow, only her legs and feet showing.

There were seven of us making merry in the glorious white stuff:

The Adults (relative term): Ginger, Kelty, Vic
The Grandchildren: Kenneth, Grace, Rella, and, for a short time, baby Grace Ginger.

Living on a mountainside has a wintertime advantage -
a perfect sledding hill.

Well, mostly perfect.

If you don't veer to the right, you'll hit into the pyracantha bushes.  Think thorns.

Older kids are able to make to navigate it, even at high speeds . . . but not the younger ones.

In comes Kelty to the rescue!

She hung onto the sled going down on her belly, 
shifted the course of the sled midway down, 
then heaved it forward
and let go, amid squeals of pure joy mixed with terror.

After thirty minutes of being hurled down the mountain on her belly,
Kelty changed her approach.

She used her KNEES.

You can gauge her tremendous speed by seeing the snow flying above her right knee.

See arrow.

All the children screamed "Again! Again!" when they reached the bottom.

Audrey was STILL screaming it after the 12,486th time.

Once again, notice the knee work.  
Pressing down on the right knee helped her make the critical turn.

We spent most of that day out playing in the snow,
after which we felt satisfyingly tired.

By the next morning, another round of white stuff had fallen.

Then there was WORK to do.

However, even THAT was a pleasure for Mr. Kenneth.

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