Thursday, December 16, 2010

 It feels like the heart of winter here in Fairbanks. We've had a few consecutive weeks of below zero, or ten below zero and colder temperatures. We've been enjoying staying home when we can. When we do venture into town we bundle up, make as few stops as possible, get the essentials, let the kids play, take the camera and get home. Yesterday was cold, but we had a few things we had to do, so as I drove in to town and around I asked D to snap some shots. I was hoping the camera would capture the mountain range I could see with my bare eyes, but alas...

There are temperature readings all around town and as we'd drive by we'd try and get a shot of the temperature, but with the boards also showing time and random other bits, and other vehicles, and exhaust fumes engulfing our vehicle, well ... and then there were the times where we reached for the camera but the sign only said -22, and we were like, we can do way better than that.

 We drove into town around twelve thirty p.m., and when I saw the sun, I was surprised how high in the sky it was, well you can see that it really isn't that high. I just haven't seen it in a while, so the intensity was lovely.

 And this is what town looks like these days, frozen, cold and dreary- and this is about as bright and light as it gets. The sky is clear, and the sun is at it's peak, which is really just skimming the horizon. The colder it gets the worse the ice fog. On public radio the announcers give air quality warnings, because of the amount of pollution trapped in the bowl that is Fairbanks. We noticed little things as we drove around, how the ride is bumpier, due to frozen tires and shocks. Vehicles just don't run well at these cold temperatures, slow to start and sluggish in pace. When you open the door you can't close it quickly enough, the nice warm air in the cab gone in a second.
I heard the announcer say lows from forty to fifty below last night, highs today from thirty to forty below. Our thermometer seems to be stuck at ten below, but it feels closer to fifteen, which is still a significant difference from town temperatures. When we were in town yesterday, the cold air took our breath away. Exposed fingers for just a second was painful. Avery thought it was great fun. She laughed and squealed each trip from the truck to the building and back.

I'm thankful that we don't have to leave the house today. I'm just as thankful that I don't have any plans yet for the day. I brought home some dinosaur craft books and some asian noodle/dumpling cookbooks from the library yesterday. So that should keep us occupied. The animals are all snug indoors. Three bucks snuggling in one insulated building with fresh bedding. Chickens enjoying their heat lamp and heated waterer indoors - we don't keep the heat lamp on often, usually just a light bulb, but we've been indulging them lately - and it is always nice to have unfrozen eggs. The ducks will get out today, hardy little buggers. The does are keeping their dwelling warm enough with their body heat. They have a light bulb on, and we've been tossing some hay indoors as well as some outside. They seem to be in fine spirits.

Yep, that's about all for the dark days around here. A toasty fire, a few candles and Christmas lights to brighten our days.


Plain and Joyful Living said...

Wow, when we moved from Massachusetts to northern Vermont, our family continually remarked how we were moving to the north pole, or the cold tundra, etc...
It is nothing like where you are... wow.
How do the cars start there? things get a little hard for us when it is below zero for our old suburban.
Warm wishes

Buttons said...

Emily Thank you for your photos and words. It is so nice to hear about other places. I am not going to complain about our -15c whatever that is compared to your temp.I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Keep warm and keep blogging.

Emily said...

Tonya, I don't know if people winterize cars elsewhere like they do here, but batteries and I think engines both have a heater that is plugged in for a while, like an hour or so at at least before starting. They recommend using a different oil in the winter. And I think that is all. We buy a special sort of battery that doesn't need the heater. Tires go a little square at forty /fifty below. When your tires go thump thump you know it is just too cold to go anywhere.

Buttons, thanks for all the comments. At least our cold is dry with little wind. I'd take our temperatures to zero in a humid windy area.

donna said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. Certainly is cold there. Try to stay warm. God bless.