LOCAL VIEW –Spring Snows–

I’m done my taxes, and could easily post a long rant, but I’m not in the mood. The government is wise to have taxes due on April 15, for at the end of a long winter people are at their weakest, and least likely to rebel. Rioting is reserved for the hot days of summer.

Instead I’ll quell my ire, and only allow a bit of subtle animosity to ooze by snickering, as a storm bears down on Washington D.C. Ha! Rather than the rains of cherry blossoms petals they expect, their hot air will be cooled by snowflakes. Hopefully the snow will cool their inventiveness, which all too often helps no one but themselves. They invent new taxes, such as the “Carbon Tax”, but it’s hard to tax people for Global Warming in a snowstorm. Why? Because rather than their taxing behavior seeming like “saving the planet”, it becomes too obvious what it actually is, which is highway robbery.

20180321 rad_ec_640x480

I am just glad I listened to Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo (at the Weatherbell site) back in February, when they looked a little foolish by warning winter wasn’t over, when it looked like it was. The snow was gone, and we even enjoyed a delightful day with temperatures up around 72°F ( 22°C). I felt a little foolish for heeding them, and ordering extra firewood. Now I have to dig down through snow to get the wood, (which I never had time to stack, because the greedy government cares more about doing taxes than properly stacked wood.)

Spring Snow 2 IMG_6540

Not that I have time to stack wood. The government prefers that I squint at 208 receipts. I’m hoping the approaching storm stays south, and clobbers Washington and not me, for my porch shows I’m not ready for a storm.

Sping Snow 1 IMG_6539

Not that I have time to stack wood. I have to hurry to the Childcare. Thank God I have a staff that can keep an eye on things as I wade through business expenses for the government bookkeepers.

208 receipts. And nearly every one wrinkled. Many faded, from sitting on the dashboard of a truck, or made of some odd sort of paper that turns black when exposed to heat. Some with coffee stains, or a dog’s footprint in the center, from spending time on the seat of my truck. The government would not approve of my bookkeeping, but the government doesn’t work a Real Job. They don’t know what it is like to run a farm or a Childcare, where chaos is the rule. They expect all to be neat and tidy, and even calculate the time the paperwork should take, when they issue a new ordinance. How nice of them. I can just see them, in their cubical, figuring out it should take eighteen minutes to fill out the latest form.  They seem to think children and livestock will patiently wait, while I do paperwork. Nope. Doesn’t happen that way.

I arrive at the Childcare wondering if the children will even remember who I am, and they are delighted to see me. Funny. After a long day there is nothing I want more than to get away from the little imps, but as they rush up to hug my thighs I find myself moved. I suppose anything looks good, after government paperwork.

They are very exited and want to show me something they have done. So we head out through what passes as a springtime landscape in New Hampshire.

Spring Snow 3 FullSizeRender

Out at the bottom of the sledding hill I am shown an incredible wall built of huge snowballs.

Spring snow 4 IMG_6543

The energy involved must have been incalculable. I know the balls were pushed downhill, but they are bigger than the children are. The children are brimming with pride.

Spring Snow 4 IMG_6544

The snow has been frozen rock hard in the 6°F (-14°C) overnight temperatures, but the sunshine is glorious, as bright as the last day of summer’s. However I notice a violation of government regulations. All playground toys over 36 inches tall must be surrounded by a soft bed of wood-chips two feet deep. What if a child fell off these snowballs? Or, not “if”, “when”. I nonchalantly inquire if any such event has happened. My staff informs me that yes, so-and-so slipped off and got a fat lip the day before, and cried for five minutes. I look to see how traumatized so-and-so has become due to the dreadful experience, and note so-and-so is right back atop a snowball.

Spring Snow 5 IMG_6546

Still, there is simply no excuse for such violations of common-sense safety regulations. To top it all off, the wall was built right across the sledding trail. What were they thinking? Anyone sledding down the hill might experience a dreadful crash. The children must be immediately told to rip their stupid wall down. Do you want to tell them?

Spring Snow 7 FullSizeRender

Instead I want to tell the government something. The only problem is that I seem to be suffering a shortage of words that are not rude expletives.

Just let me say I hope it snows like heck on Washington D.C. today.

(Aren’t you glad I didn’t write a rave?)

My whole life’s a charitable deduction.
That’s the whole point of my poor poetry,
But the government wants a reduction,
And prefers greed, to generosity.
Golden Spring’s in the wings, and it’s waiting
For those fools to quit their contradiction.
Golden Promise is king, but abdicating
Because fools clamor for crucifixion,
But you cannot kill God. There’s no winter
That’s never ended by Spring, nor midnights
Unbroken by dawns. Icicles splinter,
Falling from eves. Drops trickle. Song delights
As even cold-hunched birds must free a sweet peep
And spring-fevered children awake from their sleep.


CLICK BAIT –Arctic Temperatures Crash Below Normal–

The DMI graph tells it all.

DMI5 0319 meanT_2018

The only reason I’m pounding a drum about temperatures being slightly below normal at the Pole is because the media made such a hoopla about the spike that preceded it. Call my post anti-hoopla, if you will.

Not that any weather can be anything other than proof of Global Warming, in the eyes of some. For example, a few weeks ago the loopy jet-stream brought warm weather to the east coast of the USA. That was proof of Global Warming. However now it is bitterly cold, but that too is proof of Global Warming. If you choose to enter that mindset, here are examples. Warm spell is proof of Global Warming? See here:


Blizzard a few days later is proof of Global Warming? See here:


It is really an amazing sort of delusion, wherein there is no way to refute the hypothesis, even if it is incorrect. I am reduced to rolling my eyes.

One thing I refuse to do is to allow these poor, misguided zealots to drop the term “Global Warming.” It is their roots, and they need to stay grounded. I know they dearly want to forget their past predictions of doom and gloom and to “move on .com” to new predictions of doom and gloom, and therefore want to move to the safer topic of “Climate Change” (for the climate always changes), but they promised us a warmer world, and by gum I am not going to let them skip out on their promise. Also I don’t want them to avoid the absurdity they face, and have earned, when the weather is bitterly cold. It is a custard pie plashed into their face, and they themselves deliver it.

I have to admit they display adroit dexterity of logic, when explaining how a howling blizzard is due to Global Warming. I appreciate that sort of balderdash, for such balderdash is at the root of creative writing. Of course, mature writers know they have entered the world of fiction, and have left the landscape of science. But, before they were mature, some writers were forced to attend Algebra classes they loathed, and, when asked to explain why their Algebra homework was undone, wove such amazing webs of balderdash that the classroom hushed, and the teacher couldn’t help but smile. In the process they displayed adroit dexterity of logic. For this reason I think many Climate Scientists are actually creative writers who missed their calling.

But they do not fool me one bit. After all, I am myself a creative writer, and know all too clearly the difference between science and fiction, for in my time I too have offered bill collectors my poems, with a predictable result.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic your flights of imagination may be, (that you call “explanations”), you can’t eat them when your belly growls (and anyway, the unimpressed bill collector calls them “excuses”). A day must come when reality knocks at the door like the Grim Reaper. And, for Alarmists who are seeking to sell Global Warming, that is what cold temperatures are: The Grim Reaper (or bill collector) knocking at their door.

And that is why I am so cruel as to post the above graph. I want to be the cold slap of reality on a feverish face, and to wake people up.

I need to warn those young dreamers (who are desperately attempting to make their Global Warming creativity look like science) that they need to be careful.  They need to take care not to slip into the landscape of liars. Not that the temptations may not be more seductive than those faced by a man with an ugly wife and a beautiful secretary. But, as a creative writer, I can guarantee nothing dries up the founts of creativity faster than cheating in terms of Truth. For example, if a great creative writer succumbs to the big paycheck of working for an advertising agency,  he notices an almost immediate increase in what is called “writer’s block”, and in some cases ceases to be able to write at all.

How might such lies occur in the world of something innocuous as polar temperatures? Well, for an example, begin by looking at the color-codes in the scale of temperatures in the map below, from the recent February spike in arctic temperatures.

Sneaky TemperatureAnomaly02212018

Look at the color of -4°C. It is a blue so pale it is nearly indistinguishable from white. But then look at +4°C. It is a vivid ochre .  This visually gives more “weight” to four degrees of warming than four degrees of cooling. It is a sort of lie. And then also note how the planet is tilted, so Siberia is away from the viewer. That too makes Siberia seem smaller and gives it less “weight”, and is a visual lie. Third, the map does not reflect actual temperatures, but rather “anomalies”, which can make temperatures far below zero appear cherry red, and thus generate an impression of warmth where it is cold.

Please compare the “impression” given by the above map with the “impression” given by the map below, (from a few days later), which reflects not “anomalies”, but actual temperatures.

Sneaky 2 comment-4-gfs_t2m_nhem_2

It is difficult to recognize the maps as being from the same planet, let alone as being from roughly the same time. Considering the second map reflects actual temperatures, it reflects Truth as it actually is, while the first “anomaly”map reflects something that isn’t, a “departure”, and slips from reality towards a sort of slight-of-hand.

I appreciate this sort of cleverness, as a creative writer, but also recognize the danger. It is one thing to display adroit dexterity of logic when telling baldfaced lies to an Algebra teacher who is demanding undone homework, but quite another when you enter the adult world where a man’s word (and a woman’s word) is their honor.

What is the danger? The danger is that, if you don’t stand for Truth, a time may come when you look around for who will stand for you, and all around you will be false. Even worse, when you look within for the founts of creativity and recreation, the springs will be dried up, and all will be a desert. Indeed, while a warming world would be of benefit to many, the political dishonesty involved in Global Warming seems more likely to result in a global desertification.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Marvelous Mutations–UPDATED

This is just a quick note to exclaim about how different the behavior of arctic systems are, compared to what traditional ideas expect. Traditionally we expect a boundary to exist between the the Polar Cell and the Ferrel Cell.

Polar cell UHCaxa7

This boundary tends to have east winds north of it (Called “Northerlies”in the above illustration) and west winds south of it (called “Sou-westerlies” above). For the purposes of simplification, let me call them the “Polar Easterlies” and the “Sub-polar Westerlies.”

When these winds behave themselves, the only sign we have of the opposing winds is when a gale tracks northeast so far in the Sub-polar Westerlies that it leaves their jurisdiction, and enters the jurisdiction of the Polar Easterlies. That is when the gales slow, “stall”, and head east, with their track often describing what I call a “loop-de-loop”.  This is commonplace.

It is more rare for the easterlies to come so far south that actual pockets of high pressure are carried east to west. In Eurasia such high pressure systems can be loaded with bitterly cold Siberian air, and be called names such as “The Beast from the East.”

Currently a second pocket of high pressure, “The Baby Beast”,  is drooping the daffodils in England, but watch what happens to the high pressure as it is caught by the westerlies.

A.) It charges west over Britain.

Deranged 1 66420346

B.) It runs out of steam between Britain and Iceland, and stalls.

Deranged 2 66429274

C.) It is dragged back east, south of Britain towards Spain, by the westerlies, and has in fact become part of the westerlies.

Deranged 3 66443394

If you go back to the first map, you will notice that when the Baby Beast plows into the westerlies the more traditional westerlies are suppressed south, as bigger than normal storms moving west-to-east through the Mediterranean. However the Baby Beast, like an oar moving through water, does not only make a whirlpool one side of its blade, but on both sides.  Storms are also suppressed and squeezed north, up the east coast of Greenland. These northern whirls are in complete denial of traditional diagrams, for they are westerlies moving north of easterlies.

This situation is such a mutation of normalcy it cannot long survive. But for a moment in time one can see the sub-polar westerlies exist north of the polar easterlies, before the situation rectifies itself by dissolving into uncommitted confusion. (Called chaos.)

When one side of the Pole dissolves into such confusion, it ceases to have as much influence over the Pole itself. Its power is in a sense neutered. This gives the other side of the Pole relative strength. Even if it was weak, it gains relative power, compared to the neutrality of confusion.

Some computer models, trying to make heads of tails of this change,  produce a remarkable solution. They replace the old polar easterlies with a new polar easterlies. Where the old were so far south they pushed the Baby Beast south over Britain, the new easterlies will be so far to the north a storm from the Pacific will be pulled north right over the Pole and down to the Atlantic.

We shall see about that. Models can be wrong. However what I wish to suggest is that the elegant idea of Polar Cell above a Ferral Cell is too simplistic to explain what we are witnessing.

Hopefully I’ll have time to add polar maps to this post, to show the view of what is occurring from above.

But, if I don’t have time, I should at least state that the newsworthy cold discharges may shift  from the Eurasian side to the North American side, very soon.


When I last posted a weak “Ralpheena” situation was puncturing a zonal flow, with high pressure at the Pole attacked by both Atlantic and Pacific “feeder bands”. The  Pacific milder air is seen in the isotherm map just north of the coast of Alaska, while the Atlantic milder air pokes up to the Pole  west of Svalbard. A relatively mild current just west of Svalbard emphasizes the Atlantic mildness, and a slight polynya at the mouth of the Mackenzie River slightly emphasizes the Pacific mildness, but neither is even close to being as strong as the two flows that manifested in mid-February.

In February the Pacific band shifted towards Siberia as the Atlantic band won out, eventually  making headlines by crossing the Pole, as the entire arctic high was shifted en mass, and described a slow arc, rotating west along the coast of Siberia, through Scandinavia, across the Atlantic to Greenland, and eventually through Canada to the Canadian Rockies. (The “Beast From the East”). The “Baby Beast” described above only represents a part of the arctic high pressure, a blob of it that breaks off and leaves the rest behind. In this sense the situation replicated itself in a minor way, but also was different because the high pressure held its ground, and no cross-polar-flows astounded anyone.

The first map shows one weak “Ralph” fading just under the Pole, and a second slightly stronger “Ralph” moving north in Fram Strait off the northeast coast of Greenland. This Atlantic inflow is nudging the high pressure towards Eurasia, and the “Baby Beast” extension is swinging around through Scandinavia, bringing an Atlantic gale to a halt southwest of Iceland.

By the 16th the Atlantic inflow is blocked. The “Ralph” in Fram Strait has weakened. On the Pacific side the “Hula Ralph” north of Alaska is being fed by continental air rather than maritime air, and is flattened.

The isotherm map shows two tiny pockets of the -40°C isotherm north of Greenland. This is somewhat rare over the Arctic Sea, because the water, though cold, is relatively warm compared to the air, and this heat radiates up through ice. Also the sea-ice is in constant motion, and full of cracks that open and then crunch together, and any time a lead opens water is in contact with the air and losing heat, even as it swiftly skims over with ice. The -40°C air shows the strength of the cold that has swiftly built over the Arctic Sea, (yet gets no headlines.)

By March 17th a secondary “Ralph” has developed from the weakening low in Fram Strait, and is southwest of Svalbard. The isotherm map shows a pretty example of the counterclockwise “hook” that characterized various incarnations of “Ralph” last year, but it is making little progress towards the Pole, as the high pressure seems to be fighting back.

Twelve hours later the secondary “Ralph” is being deflected east, with the isobars indicating strong winds north of Svalbard as the high pressure fights back. The small pocket of -40°C air north of the Canadian Archipelago reaches its largest extent. The Pacific “feeder band”, though an obvious stripe in the isotherm map, is completely cut off from the Pacific.

Twelve hours later the high pressure over the Pole is pumped up and has triumphed in the battle for domination of the Pole. The “Ralph” over Svalbard is being shunted towards Norway like a more normal North Atlantic gale in the westerlies. Perhaps it “pumped up the high pressure”, as all the air its clouds hoisted aloft had to descend somewhere.

One thing unseen in these top-down maps is a constant bleeding-off of the Pole’s frigid air down through Canada, via an extension of the high pressure in that direction. As that lobe pours cold south on its eastern side some mild air comes north on its western side, which partially explains the milder air north of Alaska. But the exchange is not as dramatic as earlier this winter, when the entire Arctic Sea was divided by milder air as the mass of cold moved south.

This morning the former “Ralph” has moved southeast to northern Scandinavia, and has become a part of a conglomeration of low pressures extending all the way to the western reaches of the Laptev Sea. This power is suppose to shove the high pressure off the Pole and down into Canada. As that high pressure departs there should be a Pacific to Atlantic cross-polar-flow develop behind it, in the clash between low pressure on the Eurasian side and high pressure on the Canadian side. A small low may zip along this flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Not that I will have time to watch it. If the high pressure over the Pole actually does descend into North America I could very well be shoveling snow in April.

It is ironic that the coldest temperatures we have seen all winter over the Pole waited until the time we expect to see them rise.

DMI5 0318 meanT_2018

Until this cold is budged off the Pole I doubt we can officially claim the “yearly high” has been reached in terms of “sea-ice extent”. The peak has occurred later than usual in recent years. I’ll post on that next week. There is usually a lot of hoop-la about how low it is, though this year’s hoop-la might be a bit muted due to the fact the current “extent” has caught up to prior years and is no longer the “lowest evah!”

DMI5 0318 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Stay tuned.


Now is when the blush of twilight is growing at the Pole, and temperatures up there start to rise, fostering the illusion it is warming when it is still bitter cold. (The rise, at first, is from -30°C to -25°C). The Pole continues to squander the planet’s heat.

How is the warming an illusion? Perhaps it is best explained by an analogy.

Suppose your car was headed towards a brick wall, and you applied the brakes. The speed at which approached the wall would decrease, and you could produce a graph that showed the rate at which you approached the wall was rising towards zero, but you would still see considerable damage to your car (and the bricks) if you took your foot off the brake.

In like manner, a considerable amount of freezing is still occurring at the Pole, and a considerable amount of heat is being lost to space, though spring “warming” is occurring. This will be especially obvious when we start to get reports from up there, as they start to ready the Barneo scientific base, military post, and tourist trap in March. Though “warmer”, the sea-water still freezes when they chop holes.

(By the way, those of you who want to do my wife a favor by sending me to the North Pole will be sad to learn the price has nearly doubled.)

Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Co-Ed Communal Tent
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Barneo Ice Camp itineraries include one night pre-expedition in Longyearbyen.

All rates per person in USD, based on double occupancy at the Longyearbyen hotel, and co-ed shared accommodation at Barneo Ice Camp.


Only show rates under

Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2019
Co-Ed Communal Tent

Besides traveling up there to see for yourself, another way to envision how the Pole continues to lose heat despite springtime “warming” is to pump a huge amount of above-normal temperatures up there, and see if the spring “warming” warms it, or if it loses heat. I was going to do this, but, just before I brought six billion party-balloons of air to the Pole, nature did it for me, and I was able to skip the bother.

Back in mid-February the air atop the earth shifted south and west in Siberia (“The Beast From the East”) at the same time it shifted south and east in Canada, (a little-noticed outbreak of arctic air into the Atlantic south of Greenland), and these two movements created a vacuum between them, and into that vacuum rushed air from both the Pacific and Atlantic, and temperatures rose to 25-30 degrees above normal at the Pole. But what then happened to that air? Did it remain at the levels it was at? Were those temperatures nudged further upwards by springtime “warming”? The DMI temperature graph tells the story:

DMI5 0314 meanT_2018

This “plunge” in temperatures didn’t occur because the imported air was exported south again, but rather because all that imported air was chilled 20 degrees over the course of two weeks. The Pole actually is now at the coldest temperature it has been all winter, despite the imports of huge amounts of maritime air. As this air chilled it grew heavier and sank, pressing down and creating high pressure.

The high pressure at the Pole is the closest I’ve come to redemption for my utterly botched forecast, which was for a “zonal” situation to lock the cold air up at the Pole so we could have an earlier spring. (To bottom-left in sketch below.) However, having been embarrassed once, I have my guard up, and I’m on the look-out for a “Ralpheena” situation, which led to arctic outbreaks. (To bottom-right in sketch below.)

Ralpheena FullSizeRender

What the “plunge” means is that the Pole has built up a supply of cold. What it will do with that cold remains to be seen. So let’s look at the maps and see if we get any hints.

When we last looked, a very weak version of “Ralpheena” was seen, with weak Atlantic imports forming a weak “Ralph” north of Greenland, and weak Pacific imports forming a weak “Hula Ralph” north of Alaska.


The weak Atlantic and Pacific imports never establish themselves, in the manner they did in February. We are left with a unsatisfactory hybrid, sort of half-way between “zonal” and “Ralpheena.”

(I’ll add the intervening maps later. They are on my old laptop, which is elsewhere.)

Leaping ahead, we arrive at the current situation, which is a continuation of the unsatisfactory hybrid. However, to soothe my damaged ego, I think I’ll call it “zonal”. That way I can say my botched forecast did “verify”, (although it was tardy in verifying).  (But now, just you watch. As soon as I say something the weather has a way of hitting me in the face with a pie. )

One thing I’m noting is that slight Atlantic inflow is nudging towards the Pole. In February that bumped the cold down into Siberia and created the “Beast From the East.” So I’m watching for any sort of repeat of that situation in Eurasia.

For the moment the cold is to some degree “locked up” at the Pole, but is a reality we should be wary about.

In terms of sea-ice, the extent graph continues to show low levels.

DMI5 0314 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

With the cold locked up at the Pole, the sea-ice in the Central Arctic will continue to be thicker than last year, which will make the “volume” graph higher than last year (and higher than 2008, in the PIOMAS graph.) However Alarmists will take some solace in the above extent graph, and ignore the “thickness” and “volume” information below.

I tend to be interested in the “extent” graph this time of year not because it teaches us much about the Central Arctic, but rather because of what it teaches us about the edges of the sea-ice, which are outside the Arctic Sea, in the Atlantic and Pacific.

One thing to watch for, is to see if we have a late peak in the “extent” graph. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen in recent years.

Notice the abrupt rise in the “volume” graph below. It surprises me a little, and puts us well above the past two years. Do you suppose it is due to the cold being “locked in” over the Pole, and the Plunge?

DMI5 0314 CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20180314

There are many interesting details I’m planning to comment on, but it will have to wait until I’m done my taxes.

Stay Tuned.

LOCAL VIEW –Third Gale–

I take a certain pride in keeping our Childcare open no matter how bad the weather is. In ten years we have only closed once, and that was only because an ice-storm completely blocked the roads in town with fallen limbs and entire trees. Even then, I clambered over the mess and was at the farm. There was no power, but you never know how desperate parents may be to drop off their screaming kids. There was no power for nearly two weeks after that terrible storm, but we were open a day later, and a kid did get dropped off. I had to haul water to flush the toilet, and we heated with wood, but that parent worked in a hospital, and I took a certain pride in being able to watch her child as she cared for the ill and wounded. I got an old generator running, and on the second day we watched three children, as people were very busy getting fallen trees cut up and roads cleared. And it continued on from there.

It doesn’t seem that big a deal to me. After all, a farm is a farm. Animals need water and food, and you need to be there. There are always things going wrong, because animals are animals, and you learn to respond quickly to a pig in the neighbor’s roses because it busted through a fence, or what have you. Childcare is just a logical extension of continual chaos.

The government, and also the insurance companies, do not approve.  They wish to regulate, and dream up all sorts of regulations which they claim will make us all safer, but which make life harder and harder. In my humble opinion, dealing with a three-hundred-pound, renegade pig is nothing, and dealing with a crippling ice-storm is child’s play, compared to dealing with the political hogs that do not seem to have much interest in serving us, but instead want to rule us.

Mother Nature tends to laugh at them. They can buy all the carbon-credits they want, but she obeys God’s laws. Their laws are about as effective as throwing a virgin into a volcano, and sometimes equally wasteful. She just goes about her business keeping God’s Creation balanced, and if she listens to any prayers at all, they likely aren’t the appeals of priests and shamans, or the ridiculous attempts of imbeciles to control her by buying curly light bulbs and separating their recycled bottles from their recycled cans,  but rather are the mournful wishes of small children for snow to sled upon. After all, as an archangel Mother Nature is in tune with God, and I have a hunch God has a soft spot for children.

I think a lot of kids have been hoping for snow recently. I have not shared their hopes, for snow means I have to get to the Childcare before dawn to clear the parking lot and walkways. I tend to be drained before they arrive, and then, where they are joyous about sledding, I have to drag them in sleds. It is especially hard around tax-time, when I also have to deal with a slew of government regulations.

I always wonder what happens in heaven when people pray for opposing things. What happens when the farmer prays for rain the same day the the church prays for sunshine on its annual picnic?  Is this what causes tornadoes?

If so, perhaps children praying for snow even as I lift my eyes and beg for rain or drought or oobleck, (anything but snow), may explain why we’ve been slammed by three gales in rapid succession.

Or maybe not. I could offer a meteorological explanation, but some people have hinted they prefer it when my posts avoid that subject. Some flatter me, saying they prefer my poetry, while others are Global Warming Alarmists, who prefer that their belief not be cluttered by facts. In either case, I’m in no mood to annoy them.

The first gale gave people not many miles to our west two feet of heavy, wet snow that stuck to twigs and limbs and brought down trees and knocked out power, while to our east  extreme winds brought coastal flooding and blew down trees and knocked out power, but we were in the sweet spot. We got a windy rain and the lights stayed on. The children wondered why others got all the luck, as I thanked my lucky stars.

The second gale made the children happy, and me grouchy. We got a foot of snow. I had to get to the Childcare early as the children slept late. I needed a rest after that one, and actually did manage to take a weekend off, looking at storm damage at the coast (though I should have been doing my taxes.)

Even before I got back I heard rumors of today’s storm. Another foot was on the way. I inwardly moaned, because I hiked too much taking “time off”. (Funny how even a short vacation exhausts even as if refreshes.) But then something odd happened. The first storm seemed to answer my prayers, and the second storm seemed to answer the children’s prayer, but this third storm answered both of our prayers.

I think this coincidence occurred because the government, in its power-mad desire to control and regulate the behavior of the general public, (whom it degrades by thinking the public is incapable of taking care of itself), got a little freaked out by some of the scenarios the weather bureau’s computer-model was printing out. ( The model prints out fifty, and then the “people in charge” usually chose the “average” of all fifty. But sometimes a group of the options are so scary that, even though other options suggest other scenarios, the scary options seem to demand recognition. Yesterday many of the options suggested a strip of the New England coast would get two or three feet of snow whipped by 65 mph winds. [61 to 91 cm  of snow with 105 kn winds].


Now, if you think the public is incapable of taking care of itself, then you take the blame if a bunch of them get killed by a bad storm. Therefore a system has been devised to warn people of dire danger. This system rates danger “to life and property” as either “severe”, “moderate”, or (get this) “some”. Yesterday the area of “severe” danger was at the coast, sixty miles away. “Moderate” danger was forty miles away. We were at the very edge of an area of “some” danger.  But somehow the presentation was filled with so much hoop-la and hysteria that it freaked parents out. Yesterday parent after parent telephoned to tell us they were keeping their children home. In the end not a child was coming.

Then the storm wasn’t as bad as the more extreme scenarios, (created by the computer model), suggested it might be. However everyone had already decided, and everyone was staying home. There was no reason for me to crawl from bed before dawn and limp over to the Childcare and clear the parking lot and paths. Yippee!  I could sleep late along with all the children!

After I condescended to arise I wanted to go out and take pictures of the storm. After all, it might be worth posting about.

Here is a treacherous hill, (where I had to get off the road each time a grinning teenager, rejoicing over the no-school day, drove by.)

3 Gale 2 29136673_1865280593496476_593933729467592576_n

And here is a picture of branches burdened by the sticky March snow, which never broke and never knocked out power.

3 Gale 4 29136190_1865280583496477_5876599580472675253_n

The footprints in the above picture were made by my dog, who insisted upon ruining the pristine snow-scapes I attempted to photograph, by running in front of me, whichever way I faced, and messing up the smooth snow with footprints.

In case you think I was cruel to drag the poor dog out into a life-threatening blizzard, I assure you the dog insisted on coming, and also assure you the dog is a wimp and would make it quite clear if it was the slightest bit uncomfortable. Rather than hinting we should go home, the beast urged me to go further.

3 Gale 1 29196635_1865274303497105_641937703151714463_n

All in all, the storm didn’t seem all that bad to me. When I did get around to clearing the parking lots and paths, as the light faded at the end of the day, and the snow slackened, my best guess was that we got 14 inches. The winds, which I’d call more of a strong breeze than a gale, drifted the snow to 18 inches in some places, while eroding the depth to 10 inches in others. The cold wasn’t bad; barely below freezing. No big deal, this far north, in these hills.

In conclusion, what the government succeeded in doing, by assuming the public can’t think for itself, was to take an event that would have been inconvenient, and likely would have reduced production by 50%, and turned it into a 100% reduction of production.

This is all well and good, if you can afford to laze in bed, or wander in the snow and take artsy pictures. However we can’t all afford to be so relaxed. There is something tapping our shoulders when governments become too socialistic, and this something is whispering that our farmer ancestors were wiser. They knew you still had to feed the livestock, blizzard or no blizzard. And the ill and wounded must be cared for in hospitals, blizzard or no blizzard. And some must plow the roads, and some must mend the fallen wires, blizzard or no blizzard. Life goes on, blizzard or no blizzard. Or even, dare I say it, government or no government.

Some like to talk about the “precautionary principle”, wherein we respond to what amounts to a worst case scenario. Many who want to respond to Global Warming are of this camp. To me the precautionary principle seems, at times, to reduce humanity’s potential to a lowest common denominator. It explains why socialism so often is counter-productive, and can lead to nightmares like Venezuela’s. I myself prefer to think better than the worst of my fellow man. Sure, we all have flaws, and on bad days we can behave disgracefully, but we shouldn’t base our lives on our worst. When pressed, we are also capable of better. And Mother Nature isn’t a monster who intends to make us all quail, but rather is a drill sergeant, who kicks us in the butt and makes us surprise ourselves with what we are capable of.

Therefore, though I intended to get through this post without boring those who disdain meteorology, I will post a map of the big gale that, like other big gales of the past, gave us over a foot of snow. It is the Truth, nothing more and nothing less. It is a snapshot of Mother Nature, mysterious to all, and not the exclusive property of the government.

20180313E satsfc

I am aware some will protest that I belittle the government too much, and will point out the above map is in fact made available by the government. My response is that the above map supplies the facts, the current situation. It doesn’t tell us how to interpret the facts. It does not seek to regulate how we respond. It is up to us, as a free people, to look at the given, and forecast for ourselves. And yes, we will listen to those with more experience, when they forecast, but in the end we are responsible for our own actions. If everyone stays home from work, and nothing is accomplished, everyone is responsible for their individual choice. If no one plants, we all starve together, as they are learning in Venezuela.

Some will say I mock the burden authority bears, and will say Global Warming is a forecast bigger than a blown forecast of a snowstorm. I see no difference, and feel some have an overblown sense of responsibility. Today’s snowstorm “might” have been worse, and thousands “might” have died. However thousands “might” have died even if they stayed home. The caprice of Mother Nature is legendary. Those who think they have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” may discover their abode is in the shadow of a Vesuvius, and is named Pompeii. Or they may be in Japan when a huge tsunami hits. But just because the worst is possible, we can’t hide under our beds because that is the only safe place.

All I can state is what I’ve seen, and I am no whippersnapper. Over and over I’ve found beauty in unlikely situations, where I only expected crap. When I was young this was perhaps more obvious, because hitchhiking was more commonplace, and you could be walking down a road in cold rain one moment, hanging out your thumb, and the next moment you were in a warm car bound for a sunnier place a hundred miles away.

Still, some say those days are past. The present tense is the “worst”. This “worst” is the reality, and I should wake up and see the gravity of the situation. So I try. In today’s horrible storm, where people kept their children home, I sallied forth to plum the gravity of the situation, seeking to snap pictures of how grave it was. But I kept failing. Instead I saw how beautiful it was. Until finally I succeeded. I finally obeyed those who claim I don’t see the gravity of a storm, and found something grave to photograph.

3 Gale 3 29178108_1865280586829810_3202485163770884931_n

Creator, in the winter of my long life
I tire of men who miss poetry
You have made. Instead they make such a strife
It murks up the waters. They cannot see
What I’ve been singing about since a child
In their murk, and instead insist their murk
Makes it clear. They used to drive me quite wild
With their backwards logic, but now their work
Is revealed to me as Your Invention.
What a Creator you are! What a joke
They are, (butts that do not get the jest),
But I tire of laughing, tire of smoke
And want fire; better’s not the same as Best.
Your creation’s great, but now I wait for
Not more creation, but the Creator.

Not Local –Shipwrecked–

We never did find the chest of gold we were after, as we swooped like vultures to the storm-ravaged coast of Maine.

It is an old New England tradition to be a beachcomber, seeking through the flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict, and then running like heck when we find anything valuable, to avoid the maritime lawyers who know the definitions of flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict. All New Englanders, at least in spirit, once walked the shores after storms. Even when a person didn’t “go to sea”, the sea was part of a New Englander’s life.

The sea is in New Englander’s blood, though I’m not so sure about young whippersnappers, these days. They seem to prefer the virtual world of the web, but my grandchildren came along with me, as I hoped to give them a transfusion of Yankee blood by osmosis. Not that I belabored. I was in no mood to lecture them, and mostly was obeying a craving all my own.

I blame my craving on my doing my taxes. Doing taxes makes me slightly insane, and I find I crave the sea, because the sea does not obey bookkeepers or lawyers or governments. You can claim you own the sea but you can’t fence it. And from time to time the sea goes wild and smashes people who think they own parcels of property, when they are in fact stewards.

In any case, I wanted to see the ribs and keel of an old “pinky”. What is a pinky?  A pinky was a small, square-rigged ship that carried cargo along the coasts of New England two hundred years ago. The recent storms had exposed the skeleton of such a ship at Short Sands Beach in Wells, Maine.

Blocking 3 FullSizeRender

However we were too late.  We parked in a parking lot that was only usable after  a front-end-loader rumbled about scooping away all the sand and cobbles the gale deposited on the asphalt.  It still wasn’t up to tourist-season snuff, but we could park.

Wreaks 1 IMG_6515

But the problem was that the front-end-loader had to dump all the cobbles and sand somewhere, and the closest and most logical place was the beach, and then the second gale came along and spread the sand around and nearly buried all signs of the pinkie, except the bow.

Wreaks 2 IMG_6514

My grandchildren were not all that impressed by a few beams of the stern we could expose.

The pinkie had been earlier exposed by especially bad storms, and in the past samples of its wood have been taken. It is made of local trees, back when people knew how to cut trees and make a boat of them. But one odd thing is that this wreak has no name, and has no history. I gather no tree-ring studies have been made of its wood. It was a craft that was for the most part pegged together; if there was any metal in the wreak it was long ago salvaged. There is no local memory of who owned it, and no way to date the wreak without deeper studies. It could have beached as early as 1750, or as late as 1870.  It was a minor, undistinguished ship at a time when the waters were crowded with ships, even in the winter, for ships defined the word “shipping”. There were no tractor trailer trucks,  and no railway boxcars.  To get most any goods from here to there involved men going to sea.

“Going to sea”.  Oh, it sounds like heaven to me, as I face doing my taxes. I feel I live in a society of pencil-necked, needle-nosed geeks, who haven’t a clue of what the word “risk” means. I was born too late, and looking to sea I do not see a single sail.

The only people who sail nowadays are fat-cat millionaires, and sailing is their arrogant luxury. You will not see them out on the dangerous waters of the month of March. (I confess; I’m jealous. If I had a boat, I’d likely stay in my nice warm mansion in March as well.)

But once these waters were full of sails. Short Sands Beach is sheltered by Cape Neddick, which had a small island called “The Nubble” off its end. If a lighthouse had existed, perhaps the pinkie would have found its away around the cape, but no lighthouse existed until 1879. Then the Cape Neddick Light guided sailors with light and horn, in the gales and fogs of March.

Wreak 4 IMG_6518

On the other side of Cape Neddick lies Wells Harbor, where ships could hide from Nor’easters. But when the winds swung to the southeast they had to hug the northern side of the harbor to avoid the surf that came charging in, as it did last week when our first March gale exploded off our coast.

When these winds howl, something that has the nice name of “spillover” occurs. It means the waters spill over from the sea-side of coastal dunes to the marshes on the landward side of those dunes. But “spill” sounds like it only involves a coffee cup. In fact it involves a raging ocean that treats cobbles like grains of sand. It is no joke if you happen to live on a barrier island between sea and marsh. Your front lawn becomes a cobble beach.

The cobbles clatter and rattle as the waves roar by your house, down to the tidal river seen from your back door.

At this point, though you never meant to “go to sea”, you are at sea. You understand there is a power that could care less for the property values of your shore-front property, or the fact you put your business signs to the legally prescribed  depth in the shifting sands.

And it is at this point many think it is wiser to flee the sea. The sea is too uncivilized. It has no respect for the progressive aspect of government, which wants all safely clamped. Such houses should be abandoned.  Why, then, do I thirst to “go to sea”?

To the north the next danger thrusting out from the mainland is Portland Head.  We went up that way to search for treasure exposed by the storm. The coast was all rocks, so it seemed treasure would be less likely to be buried by sand.

Wreak 8IMG_6492

As we searched we of course could not help but notice the Portland Head Lighthouse, which now seems but an anachronism, as if it was built by Disney to increase the tourist trade. But the truth is that it dates from when sails could be seen in the winter months, back when, when you shipped something, it involved ships.

Wreak 9 IMG_6493

Eventually we grew discouraged about finding boxes of gold coins, and wandered up to the lighthouse, and saw the storms had  attempted to erase the message on the ledge next to the light.

The graffiti  hints life was different, back when men “went to sea”. There were no guarantees, even on Christmas Eve, that you would reach a safe harbor.  Not even a lighthouse’s light and horn could always save you from a wreak.

Wreak 9i anniecmaguire1

I’m not sure what the circumstances were. Did the wind die as the tidal current increased? Was it foggy and still, or abruptly crisp and clear with a sudden gale? Whatever happened, you can be sure the captain was embarrassed, especially as his wife was aboard. After all, it was Christmas Eve, and they were so very close to the safety of Portland Harbor! But I do notice that they left no sails up. They tidied up the ship, clambered onto the ledge, and then the lighthouse keeper dropped a long ladder to the ledge, and they all clambered to the safety of shore. Merry Christmas! What a miracle! (But then, of course, there were probably a lot of legal details, involving flotsam and jetsam and lagan and derelict, to deal with, but only after the holiday.)

Odd. Why should hearing of this calamity that occurred nearly 150 years ago make me want to “go to sea?” Shouldn’t  I strive to avoid the fickle winds, and the uncertainty of those days, when shipping involved ships?

I simply feel some treasure is involved. Perhaps it is not cold gold. Perhaps it is a sort of goodness. Is there anything like a lighthouse keeper in the modern world? If you crashed into a ledge on Christmas Eve, would anyone try to rescue you, these days?

Whatever the treasure was, I couldn’t quite grasp it. But I did find one final bit of treasure I couldn’t grasp, before we headed home. As I took a last walk on a sandy beach I noticed the sea had not only beaten back the dune grass that was attempting to encroach seawards to the beach, but it had chewed up huge amounts of kelp and seaweed that was attempting to encroach upon the beach from the seaward side. The surf built heaps of weed and kelp over three feet tall.

As I  looked at these heaps I couldn’t help but see it as a treasure. Not that I can lift such heavy gold, at my age, but I felt the vague memory of ambition.  If I was a younger man I’d hurry my pick-up truck to this beach, and, working fast, before any could call it environmentally unwise, I would load the truck to its springs with heaps of seaweed.

As a farmer, and landlubber, I see seaweed as superb fertilizer. I once knew a man who heaped seaweed on bare rock, planted seed potatoes in the weed, and when harvest time rolled around he didn’t have to dig. He just lifted the seaweed and there were dozens of potatoes to harvest.

As a farmer, and landlubber, I also know about “greensand”, which is created by nature when heaps of seaweed is buried with sand in an anoxic environment. I’d used greensand to make the heads of my cauliflower and broccoli absurdly large.

 Seaweed is indeed a treasure, if you are young and strong.  However I am not as ambitious as I used to be.  Nor are lobster-men, I surmised.  In the old days they’d bring their traps in before big storms, and even before winter began, but now the beach was strewn with foolish modern lobster-men’s storm-crumpled traps.

But then I wondered to myself. Perhaps modern lobster-men were not lazy, but more daring. And perhaps these bent and twisted lobster-traps on the shore were like the shipwrecked ships of those who dared “go to sea” long ago. Who was wiser? Modern lobster-men or their elders?

I could not decide. I could only stand and look out to sea, where sea gulls sat in the sun-brightened water. I closed my eyes and just listened, and felt a strange longing for a treasure I missed.

Wreaqk 13 FullSizeRender

There is something we’re missing in safety.
I stand by the sea, and I long.
The land has built dikes, and has braced me.
The land thinks it’s mighty and strong.
But something by land’s sure to crumble.
It can’t withstand gales from the east,
And now the land’s starting to grumble
And ban fish from our Friday’s feast.

I’m baffled, and slump by the storm-wracked beach
And close my eyes, and hear surf suck and thump
And hiss, as the crazy gulls wheel and screech.
I listen, and find my shoulders don’t slump.
I listen, and, feeling surf’s sun on my face,
I’m hearing a Truth that the land can’t erase.

NOT LOCAL –Storm Damage–

We headed to the Maine coast to check out what the recent gales had uncovered at the beach. The tide is still too high find the rusted box full of gold coins we are looking for, but the surf did uncover an amazing number of surf-clams and hurled them above high water, where they will die.  The reek would become terrible, if they remained and rotted, but the bounty has attracted thousand of seagulls, who are wheeling and screeching and having one heck of a party. They all look so full of clams they don’t need to bother eating much, and can devote full time to quarreling, which is paradise for gulls. The gulls have found their treasure. However for the mollusks it is a terrible clamity.

Clams IMG_6480

Hope to post soon, when the tide gets low and we are rich.


Decided to see what the sea gulls saw in the clams. The rounded ones are quahogs; the more oval ones are sea-clams.

Clam 2 FullSizeRender

 They were like clam-flavored rubber bands. I likely broke some law, as I have no clammer’s licence, but it was an experiment in the name of science.  We all know science involves risk. In the movies the experiments often explode. These clams didn’t.