Friday, January 6, 2017

A Look At Winter

I woke up to rime across the byway, across the driveway and nipping at the front porch. Rime always has an elevation line. This morning I was it.

Soon I was engulfed and the rime headed into the garden and down the mountain. Rime, for those who may not know, is frozen fog that sticks to any and every surface and begins to pile up in a thick white frosting.

It had not snowed in the night. The ground was still bare. Anything standing upright in the fog began to turn white.

The plan for the first real snow of the season was still in the works for later in the day. My snow shovel was next door. That might come in handy. I went to fetch it and grabbed a spaghetti squash while I was there.

I took a brief tour of the ridge top garden. Mercy, there are a lot of sticks and big limbs down. That will have to wait for a warmer day.

Hello chimney. It has been a popular family item of late. A recent comment on a photo I posted got me thinking. Chop down all the trees in the house. Re-stack the stone foundation. Build a deck on that and start using the fireplace again. Now that would get some attention along the scenic byway.

I am afraid that will need to be filed under grandiose ideas that are unlikely to ever come to pass.

I can only handle so much rime at 22 degrees before it is time to go inside. I didn't want my squash to freeze.

Hello Uncle Ernie. It's cold out there.

Then it began to actually snow.

The already frozen ground instantly turned white.

Then it stopped. Is that all I get? Unless something changes in the night, this big winter storm is going to go down as a wimp. I have a feeling it will be tracking south and east. Maybe I won't need my shovel. I'll still eat my squash.


Lisa Greenbow said...

Yup, squash is good. That rime is so darned cold. It feels colder than snow to me.

Christopher C. NC said...

I usually wake up to rime Lisa. It's not normal to be out there when it is happening. That humid penetrating fog is what makes it so cold. The real snow arrived in the night. About four inches I'd say.

Sallysmom said...

Chris, can you tell me the origin of that chimney?

Christopher C. NC said...

I can give you a general idea that may not be wholly accurate. Up until probably 1945ish there were apple orchards and cattle pasture up here. The land was in more productive use. There used to be another house directly across the byway from the chimney that was torn down when the newer homes were built in late 80's. I never saw that and don't know what it was like. I was told by distant relations of former owners that the little cabin that went with the chimney burned down twice and that it was used as a place to stay when the cattle were brought up to pasture in the summer. The place name, Betsy's Gap, is named after a real person who is buried in Fines Creek down at the bottom of the mountain.

I would imagine the chimney and cabin were first built around 1900 give or take and rebuilt after the first fire. The top courses are red brick, different from the stone in the rest of the chimney. There are old water pipes in the foundation that may have put water inside fed from the stream above. I have not moved any of the fallen foundation stones to see if they really are a part of it or just garbage tossed over the side of the road. I have found two sets of old coil mattress springs grown into trees and sunk in the ground within twenty feet of the chimney, pieces of leather shoes and old metal pots.

Simply put there used to be a tiny, one room, 10x15 at best, little cabin used by the people who lived up here. All that is left is the chimney and a crumbling dry stack stone foundation which is on my list to restack one day.