Saturday, December 20, 2008

Journal: Saturday, 12/20/08

►  Not too bad here at the moment: Light south wind, clouds starting to build and 40ºF/4ºC @ 4:00 AM.  Bedtime.

►  Let the caffeine consumption begin.  (Overcast, moderate south wind and 47ºF/8ºC @ 10:30 AM)

►  Overcast and moderate south wind continue. Wood stove going to take the dampness out of the air. (53ºF/11ºC @ noon)

Sometimes it's amazing how quickly dogs can learn something you aren't even trying to teach them, something you don't even want them to know.  We have two windows on the north side of our house:  A small one in the bathroom and a full-sized window next to the kitchen table.
From the kitchen table window, one can see the garden, the gate at the end of the trail coming down from our upper pasture and the bird feeder (made by Jo) hanging just outside the window.  Long ago the dogs learned to occasionally look out this window to see if there were any cows at the gate or deer in the garden.  If critters were seen, the dogs barked.  Rusty and Bucket don't care anything about the birds at the feeder or even -- surprisingly enough -- a squirrel in the bird feeder.  Jo and I use this window for watching and, occasionally, photographing the birds and deer.  We don't care anything about the cows unless they've gotten out and are in the yard.
Now Rusty and Bucket (especially Rusty) are learning that if Jo or I is looking out the kitchen table window, there may be something outside for them to bark at, so they rush over and look outside too.  If they see critters at the gate or in the garden, they bark.  Their barking will scare away deer in the garden and their rushing over will frighten birds at the feeder.  If Jo or I were trying to take a photo, too bad.  Our subject is gone.  What's worse, the dogs are beginning to learn that one of us picking up the camera might mean that a barkable creature is outside and is reason enough to rush over to the window.  Dogs!

►  The wind has shifted to the north and is blowing briskly.  Temperature is beginning to fall.  Overcast skies remain.  47ºF/8ºC @ 3:00 PM.

►  Back from walking the pasture/woods loop.  We had a close encounter of the cow kind that got the dogs all upset.  Nothing serious.  She was just heading down a relatively narrow section of trail as we were going up -- probably didn't get within ten feet of her, but that's too close for the dogs to keep their cool.  Both Rusty and Bucket were off their leashes at the time, but I saw the cow first and we were able to get them releashed before they noticed the cow.  (37ºF/3ºC @ 4:30 PM)

►  Skies clearing and the temperature is falling fast.  Forecast temps revised downward. (27ºF/-2ºC @ 10:15 PM)

►  Chilling down.  23ºF/-5ºC @ midnight.  A northwest wind gusting to 30 mph/48 kph doesn't help with keeping warm.

►  Weather Summary:  High = 54ºF/12ºC.  Low = 23ºF/-5ºC.  Temperature @ midnight = 23ºF/-5ºC.  Our skies were overcast all day.  The wind shifted to the north and became gusty during the afternoon.  Temperatures dropped slowly and steadily.   Clearing occurred after dark permitting a rapid drop in temperature.  According to NOAA we have a north wind blowing at 10-15 mph and gusting to 30 mph.

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