High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lennie the Cat

The cat who has been living outside, fed and watered by me, has been named Lennie (not Lenny).

A lennie is a lenticular cloud that forms at great altitude a few miles downwind from a mountain peak or ridge, generally in winter, when the air is stable and the wind is blowing with a velocity that increases with altitude. I think the wind needs to be blowing at least 25 knots at mountain-top level. This happens when the jet stream is right over Colorado. The lennie marks the high point in the mountain wave, as the air springs back up after it first goes down in crossing the mountain.

We glider pilots are concerned with getting into the wave downwind from the mountain, but just upwind from the lennie. This is where the air is rising and forming the lennie. It's exacty where you want to be in a glider, oxygen mask in place.

The mountain wave is very powerful--the most powerful thing I've encountered in nature (I've not seen a tornado), so I named this new cat accordingly.

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Snow and More Snow

I'd walked over to my mailbox (about 200 yards) and saw this scene. So I walked home, walked back again with the camera, and made a few photographs. For the last one, I noticed the nearly full moon coming up over Bald Mountain! (Neither of these houses are mine.)

My driveway after it was plowed by my neighbor, who is in that business. He takes his small plow (similar to a skip loader) and trailers it all over the valley to plow snow. He does a good job.

I'd wisely parked my Prius out on the county road, so I wouldn't get snowed in. This was not snowfall blocking my driveway: It was wind-blown snow that almost seemed like concrete. I'd shoveled the driveway twice already that week, but newly fallen snow is light and fluffy--easy to move. Wind-blown snow isn't, so I hired the job done.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Brown Cat

For lack of a better name, I've been calling this The Brown Cat. The striped fur looks that color more than other colors. Apparently abandoned, he/she has been living in my shed. I've been putting out cat food and water, though the latter doesn't stay liquid very long outside.

This has been going on for about two weeks. I could never get close to the cat before, but today zie (gender neutral pronoun) came up close enough for a photo. But no closer--and is still outside. That's just fine with my preexisting two cats. There would no doubt be some loud, territorial disagreement if the Brown Cat were to come inside. But it's a lot warmer in here.

I've been told that cats can survive extremes of temperature, both hot and cold. The mountain lions around here are probably doing quite well, so a house cat would do the same. Not happily, perhaps.

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Leadville, Colorado

It snowed in Leadville, too! It usually does if it snows here at home. I drove up there on Monday for a meeting, and later made this photo just north of downtown.

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Big Snow

This was the first part of our big snow. Seven more inches fell a couple days later. This is a view south from my porch, between Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado. The clouds above the horizon hide the Sangre de Cristo range. Right after taking this photo, I got busy with a snow shovel and cleared my driveway. Hard work is good for me!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Winter Has Come

Happens every year--winter has come again. I bought a load of firewood (none is burning today because it's relatively warm) and I still have lots of coal that a former owner left in my shed. I didn't burn any coal for a long time, hence I have a lot. But in the last two years I've found that a few lumps of coal really extends the life of my firewood.

I just ordered a Cruzbike Silvio, which will arrive sometime in January. Now I'll be looking for bicycle trips to join. There's an interesting trip called Texas Hill Country in April, or I could bicycle Vietnam again just before that. There's the Hudson Valley Pedal in New York in August. I'll be anxious to get out on this radical new bike. www.cruzbike.com

I don't have any new photos ready to post, so this will have to do for now. But I see there's a new video capability on here. I must look into that.