Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Night Snowshoeing

This is the third time in my life that I have gone snowshoeing in the moonlight. The first time was with Katie. Do you recognize the cabin behind us? It's the SUU sheepherder's cabin! That's where Eric and I went on Monday night. I won a free trip with the SUU Outdoor Recreation Center at a party, for me and a guest. I chose Eric. Mike doesn't like cold stuff and he still had achey knees from the two days of the "World of Concrete" Expo in Las Vegas last week (does that sound exciting, or WHAT?!)

There's a picture of the group of us,
one of me kneeling by a tree. Really, the one behind it was much cuter, but once I tipped over, I really couldn't move. I was already the last one getting back to the cars, so we were in a hurry.
It'd be nice to know how to adjust the aperture and lens settings on our camera to take a beautiful picture of the moonlight glistening on the freshly fallen snow that night, but I couldn't even see the knobs on my camera, much less figure out what to do with them. I was lucky to get the shots I did just to prove we were there.
The other pictures are of Eric Making a snow angle. The snow just POOFED up when the kids fell down into it. I missed that on film ,too. Honestly, shooting in the semi-dark is HARD!

But, really and truly, the moon was so bright, we didn't even need the head lamps we all had. Earlier that day, we'd had some very serious snow showers--white-out conditions, actually, for some of the periods. It was intense. I was so disappointed. But by evening, the clouds all cleared away and we had perfect conditions for our outing. Except the road up the canyon was a wee bit icy, and that's why we ended up where we did instead of up at the top in a place called "Chrystal Canyon." THAT one opens out on the very top of the mountains and you can see forever. Next time.
There's a nice scene of snow on the fence by a tree. The snow was much deeper up higher and further out of the trees. There's a group shot, but I have no names. Just Eric on the front right. The picture with me in the group shot is on someone else's camera, but since it was dark and I didn't know any of the kids, who knows? Maybe they'll post some on the SUU outdoors page. I'll send them MY group shot just for kicks. So enjoy figuring out what the pictures are!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things that go bump in the night

We have this new furnace that works WONDerfully! However, there is something different about it that has caused Gail's imagination to run wild. It seems the chambers in this new furnace are a bit larger than the previous one, so the pressure and the heat expansion causes the walls to "Thunk". We mostly hear the metallic "Thud" when the furnace turns OFF. It's just the metal chamber wall bending back into place when the heat and pressure are off. So this is how Gail's mind works:
When the furnace is running and blowing, there is a lot of air pressure going through there. Then the air pressure goes off. Next, she hears a "Thud." In her mind's eye, she is picturing some small, trapped rodent or a squirrel or something, kept suspended and spinning in the air while the air is blowing, but as soon as the air shuts off-- THUNK! "There goes that small animal again!" What an imagination. Silly girl. So of course, now we ALL think about it each time the furnace goes off. Sometime soon I believe Mike will get down there and screw a supporting metal strip across that wall in the chamber to keep it from thunking with the expansion and contraction. It thunks when it first heats up, too. We just don't hear it because of the noise of the fan. Someday. In the mean time, we just cringe a little, wondering if there really IS some small, trapped creature living in our duct work! ???!!! [not really, but it makes for a fun story] ;-)