Tag Archives: winter

Winter is Here . . . Late, but Here Nevertheless


It’s hard to believe that on December 8 — less than one month ago — we were in this:

Z3 Roadster

Seeing sunsets such as this:

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Indeed, we had beautiful sunsets on New Year’s Day:

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Then just two days later it all turned to this:

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Yesterday I couldn’t even get the car out of our neighborhood before getting stuck in the ice and snow at the bottom of the hill.  I didn’t get it back up the hill until almost 11:00 that morning, when the street lost it’s sheen of ice and the snow turned to slush.  Since I couldn’t get to work, I toiled the day away working in my home office.

As of Saturday we were still suffering the effects from the storm that two days previously had dropped three inches of snow at the airport, and considerably more up here on the mountain where our home is located.  When I awoke Saturday morning the car was caked in a layer of ice and the driveway was a slick sheet of sheer slipperiness.  Sunrise brought fog and a solid layer of low-lying clouds cast their death-like pall upon the landscape much like Dracula’s castle casts a long shadow at sunset upon the wary villagers far below.  Meanwhile, the roadster cowered in the garage, shivering at the prospect that I might take her out before the sun shone once more upon the land.

And you don’t even want to know what this weather is doing to my solar power production.  But I’m going to tell you anyway.  The day before the storm we produced almost 30 kWh.  On the very next day production dropped to 5.54 kWh.  The next day saw 8.99 kWh, and Saturday we were back down to 8.01 kWh.

Sunday brought a respite from the clouds, not so much from the cold.  But before the clouds completely disapated we were treated to one of the freakiest fogs I’ve witnessed since moving from England back in the mid ’70s.  The fog crept up the slopes of the Franklin Mountains, filling the arroyo behind our house on its trek:

Freaky Fog

Freaky Fog

Freaky Fog

Freaky Fog

Freaky Fog

Freaky Fog

Meanwhile, facing away from the fog and toward the Franklins we were treated to a spectacular, snow dusted landscape:

Looking the other way toward the mountain

Looking the other way toward the mountain

By mid morning all traces of fog were gone and most of the clouds had left us only to return at sunset to give us a spectacular burst of magenta beneath icy cold blue:

Sunday's Magenta Sunset

Sunday’s Magenta Sunset

All in all, it was a fairly photogenic four days.

Later this month we’ll once again be escaping the dread of winter for warmer climes and water sports.  Upon our return I shall fill your heart with photographs of the warm Caribbean sun.  But, until then, hang in there.  Spring approacheth.

Meanwhile, if you have snow in your area and you want to see how to photograph it so that it doesn’t come out gray and washed out, revisit my article:  Honey, Why is the Snow so Gray and Your Face so Dark?

Following those tips you’ll be able to take photographs of snow such as those above or these:

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Fun Foto Friday—A Chilling Reminder


Remember winters past when you cursed the cold, slipped on sidewalks, dreaded driving, fought the freeze, and shivered while shoveling?

Bet you’re missing it by now, in all this heat:

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Winter’s Last Blast


Winter took one last shot (I hope) at El Paso on Sunday and Monday of last week.  On Sunday the 18th we were hit with one of the worst dust storms I’ve witnessed since moving to El Paso some thirty-one years ago.  I estimate that visibility dropped to less than half a mile, and the silt that accumulated at the bottom of our pool made it look more like a pond.  Then, on Monday, we got hit by an ice pellet storm at the airport.  Later, after I arrived home, the snow started.  Not a lot, but certainly extraordinary for El Paso on the last day of winter.

Extraordinary does not mean unprecedented, however.  In April of 1983 we were hit by a week-long snowstorm that, by the time it was over, had dumped nearly eighteen inches on our Southwestern Desert floor, and each morning that week the visibility dropped to near zero from ice fog.  In April!

But what a difference less than a week makes.  By Saturday I was cleaning the silt out of the pool, all while wearing flip-flops, shorts, and a T-shirt.  The temperatures hit 85° Fahrenheit (29° Celsius), and Ursula and I even took to a relaxing evening in our heated spa beneath the glorious stars, crescent moon, and the shining beacons of Venus and Jupiter.  Then, on Sunday, El Paso had the record high for the nation at 90° (32 ° Celsius).

And here are the “during” and “after” shots separating those six days (and after some seven hours cleaning up the pool and spa just the day before, I might add):

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