Rob's Blog Archive

May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend










Arguably, there is no colder condition than 38 F and drizzle.  The official low last night was 35 F, the high today was 42 F, and we’ve had continuous light rain.  We’re there.  After a couple of weeks without using the wood stove, it’s been going for 24 hours straight.  It will probably be the final cold spell of the season, but we’ll see.  In 2008, we built up an accumulation of a few inches of snow in the middle of June. 

It’s Memorial Day weekend at Silly Lake.

With this, I am enjoying what are probably the last nights I do run the wood stove for the season.  During the summer, I’ll build small fires outside at night and alternate between watching their flames and the stars of the Milky Way, but the additional charm of changing the house from cold and damp to warm and cozy won’t be there.

The coming of summer, something that seemed imminent a week ago, means I will start doing chores a more ‘normal’ schedule.  Living on 20 acres and with a pretty good distance between my dogyard and my closest neighbor, I can get away with feeding at midnight during the winter when every house is closed up tight and every window and door is doubled.  Summer means people are outdoors and/or sleeping with windows wide open.  I’ve already started feeding before it’s dark.

And while it has been pleasant to “sleep in” a little and run dogs during this cold spell, there have still been days when I had to be done by nine in the morning and that did mean early starts.  My next three week set starts on June 12 (my weeks run Tuesday through Monday).  Most likely, I’ll have to have finished my second run by eight.  Early runs mean midnight feedings will no longer be practical even if I had no neighbors---sort of a seasonal harmony.

As for the dogs, they like 38 F and drizzle just fine.  I do think they enjoy lounging in the sun on 70 F days about as much, but this beats 85 F days by a lot.  During dreary weather, they are split between those who are in their dog houses and those who are lounging underneath their platforms.  And as long as it’s drizzle rather than rain, there are even one or two either on the ground or on top of their doghouses lightly curled in the weather.  For the record, there isn’t a strong pattern of personal preference----it does seem that which dogs are where is more a matter of mood at the time than a pattern over the long haul.    

When I was growing up, what defined the human species was tool use.  Of course, this blatantly ignored lots of animals that clearly used tools and finally hit the dumpster when even the masters of convoluted arrogant thinking could no longer define tools so narrowly that only we used them.  To the best of my knowledge, however, we are the only species that consciously uses fire.  For most of the U.S., the Memorial Day fire is a barbecue in nice weather.   This year at Silly Lake, it’s in the hearth of my wood stove, heating rather than cooking.  It’s a different romance, but it is a romance nevertheless.  Welcome to Silly Lake.

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