Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nature Writing Entry #6

3-1-15 at 12:15pm
At the Stewart Park Promontory

Temperature: 25 degrees
Wind: 5-11 MPH
Clouds: Yes, of course

Humans and Animals seen: Only the crazy ones who got lost on their way to Florida

My notes for today begin “cold, white, cloudy, crappy.” I've been willing to play along, work in an occasional cross-country ski or skate on the pond, marvel at the glistening sparkles across the snow drifts, enjoy the slap-in-the-face cold that I'll long for on those long, humid, hot days of summer. But the game is over. That's it. I’m done.

It doesn't help that today I’m in a bad mood. Is it the cyclical hormones, the infiltration of winter, or the pressing cabin fever that has my mood sinking? Probably all of the above, but I leave my car and fumble around the Promontory loop anyway. All I see is high snow banks, deep post holes, and white and gray monotony burning my eyeballs into oblivion.

I picked the warmest day of the week to visit the Promontory, but I feel frozen. If the ice shelf went out far last week, this week it’s glacial. You can walk across the frozen tundra here at the southern half. I haven’t heard reports that it is frozen completely farther north, but it must be getting close. I see people far out there, and I have an inkling to go too. But I know that will only increase my bad mood. Trapped on an ice sheet in the dead of winter, only a notebook and camera as defense, and cloaked in negativity—probably not the best plan.

According to the US Climate Data website, Ithaca’s average temp in January is around 22 degrees. February's norm is around 24 degrees. According to the Ithaca Climate Page, temperatures this January ranged five to twenty degrees below the norm. But February, ah February, that month of spreading love with hearts and candy, that short month that the groundhog dictates, that month where the earth is supposed to be turning back toward our sun, this February ranged daily from ten to thirty degrees lower than the norm. One day, it was 35 degrees below the norm. There aren't enough candy hearts or groundhogs to get me to appreciate that.

I snoop around the boathouse to try and keep myself out of the wind. It doesn't work. But there are some intriguing patterns: the slats on the balcony, the stairs with their chipped paint, the curves of the beams overhead. Patterns that normally I would render beautiful. But today all I see is a state of disrepair, the decrepit nature of the old building, a shabby attempt at shelter.

I realize, of course, that deep winter will soon dissolve into warm spring. And before I know it, I’ll be cursing the plethora of deer ticks and raging against the heat waves that summer will bring. But today it's hard to imagine. Today, the only things that exist are cold, white, cloudy, crappy.


Brittany Hailer said...

Girl, I feel you. I am dreading plowing my way through snow to the lake again this week. (Although its probably colder in Ithaca right now) We've just had A TON of precipitation here. I just want to be dry again. BRING ON THE HEAT. I want to be wet from my own sweat, not freezing slush and ice.

This line: "All I see is high snow banks, deep post holes, and a white and gray monotony burning my eyeballs into oblivion."

I miss color. It is as if we've been living in black and white for months and months.

Beautiful photos as always, m'dear. Also, that building kind of reminds me of The Overlook Hotel. :x
Stay warm, lady!

Amanda K. Jaros said...

Haha! Overlook Hotel! Yes, completely.
Thanks for the commiseration.

Andrea said...

This post made me smile. Nothing like knowing we're not suffering alone to make the suffering more bearable. We topped 40 degrees here yesterday. It felt like bikini weather (and it so beautifully melted the top layer of snow so that now my driveway and front walk are deadly ice sheets). Hang in there. Spring is only two or three months away. :)

Helena Nichols said...

I feel this so much. The cold is just getting way out of hand. I have gotten to the point where I just don't feel warm anymore. Ever. I am so ready for summer. Like you I acknowledge that I will end up getting annoyed by things then too, but it is so hard to imagine right now. I just want to be able to get out of bed without dreading the cold that waits for me.

Athena Gabrielle said...

"But the game is over. That's it. I'm done." - yuuuupppp. I also love that you explored the man-made shelter within the natural world. We've been discussing what is nature and especially after the reading last week where the park ranger burnt down the native shelter. Such an interesting reflection!

Laura Roberts said...

Blech. I know. The snow, the temps....if there were just sunshine, it would be bearable, wouldn't it? Some blue sky. The stratus clouds make me feel claustrophobic. The weather can make or break a nature experience.

John Muir would shake his head at our grumping, I think.

Lisa Didiano said...

"My notes for today begin 'cold, white, cloudy, crappy.'"

"There aren't enough candy hearts or groundhogs to get me to appreciate that."

Your piece this week made me chuckle. I'm so over the cold, too.

I liked the boathouse. I found your pictures of it beautiful.

Melanie Fox said...

I also sympathize. There's always a point in the semester - usually right about now - where the blogs often take a depressed-will-spring-ever-come?? turn. But this year, I think that the weather has been especially brutal and has heightened that response, in everyone.

I do appreciate that although you can't bring yourself to comment on the details, you are still noticing a great many things worth your attention.