Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scenes from around the house

Sometimes it's warmer chez nous than it is in town, and sometimes it's colder. Last night, alas, it was the latter.

Edited: 4 hours after that photo was taken, temperatures were in the negative single digits F. The next day, the Minor News published a story that it's getting warmer. You go, Minor News!

Here are the girls in yet another napping permutation:

And Miss Millie B. Doofus, Supreme Ruler of the People's Independent Republic of Bunnistan, doing yoga:

My clothes drying. I don't like to put wool or synthetics into the dryer, so I put that stuff into a garbage sack and bring it home to hang dry. Last night, after having dinner with some friends in town first, I came home and the sack of wet clothes that had been sitting in my car was frozen. Sigh. Anyway, when there is a fire going, my underwear dries in about an hour, and my heavier stuff dries in about six.

The thing about cold-weather underwear is, it doesn't really matter who sees it. It's not remotely sexy or suggestive. :)

I wish you could see from the photo, but on very cold days, the ice in the dogs' water bowl develops from the bottom up.

Because ice is less dense than water, and furthermore because as temperatures drop in winter, air is usually colder than the ground, ponds, lakes, and rivers freeze from the top down. This is what enables life to remain in liquid water beneath the surface all winter, and it has enormous implications for ecology and for the development of life on earth, and even possibly for why it's possible for life to have developed at all.

In a Fairbanks cabin in deep winter, however, the air is so cold and still and stratified that your head can be 20 F degrees warmer than your feet. When the fire in the wood stove has been out for a while, and the cabin has been kept warm only due to the oil stove (which I set very low, only to prevent the cabin from totally freezing up), the floors are definitely at a temperature below freezing. Milliebun has a raised floor and mats to keep her warm, and the dogs don't care because they are used to living outdoors. But their water bowl grows ice from the bottom up, and it forms in needles, which adhere to the bottom surface. Consequently, it eventually reaches a very strange stage at which the bottom of the dish is filled with shards of ice, while the top is open water.


Rena said...

Wacky about the cold floors. So I'm guessing you don't pad around in socks like we do here in Ca? You must wear some sort of really warm slippers or maybe even your shoes inside?

Arvay said...

I wear sheepskin slippers, but I have absolutely abandoned the Asian tradition of shoe removal at the door. When the only ground surfaces folks' shoes ever contact are snow and ice, they certainly aren't dirty anyway!

Once I light a fire, the floor warms up reasonably well, but yeah, my feet would still be cold without my woolly slippers. :)

Sarah said...

i have just came across this blog and i am wondering where abouts you live, a moose in the garden thats so cool. i live in england :)