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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We Dodged a Bullet

It could have been a LOT worse.  I feared hemlocks falling like matchsticks.  Instead, lots of dead trees that had been threatening to come down came down.  I only saw two live trees of significant size destroyed.  Two trees across our dirt road -- one I was just barely able to move with the help of a six foot iron bar I brought along with me on the way to work and the other will have to wait for chain saw action. 

Our power went out for several hours.  My thanks to Ben Krahforst of ACT Electric for doing a good job installing our 14 KW Kohler generator that passed its first real test. 

We only got about a 1/2-inch of rain. Wind gusts reached 23mph at the West Grafton weather station, 19mph at my Rensselaer Plateau weather station and 22 mph at the Berlin weather station. The aneometer on my weather station is not as high as it should be, so I suspect gusts reached 22-23 in the tree canopies.  Temperatures were extraordinarily high, staying in the fifties throughout the evening.

So, I am grateful that it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  But something's happening with the climate.  I believe global warming is behind the weird stuff we've been experiencing.  I'm hopeful the right guy for the job gets elected and will focus a bit more on that in his second term.  One of these "100-year" storms could truly wreak havoc and destroy the character of the Plateau.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Track wind speed, rainfall and more real-time at the Rensselaer Plateau Weather station by clicking here (or the link under the Rensselaer Plateau Life banner photo at any time).  Let's keep our fingers crossed that the winds don't get as nasty as in the Storm of 1950 or the New England Hurricane of 1938.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

A recent walk in the woods, yielded these photos of mushrooms.  (Christmas is coming up, I need to add a mushroom identification book or two to my "Wish List").

Speaking of a walk in the woods, Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is good for some real belly laughs.

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Small Town": Dirty Politics

"What really committed us to the struggle was a conversation we had with Harvey Dakin.  We knew that he had been suggested for the post of chief of the auxiliary police, and we went to ask him if he planned to accept.  It was in the early evening, and he was taking a nap after a day in the woods and a hearty supper.  He roused himself and sat on the couch, his hair rumpled and his lumberman's shirt full of wrinkles.  he knew as well as we why he was being considered: because he was fearless and because he was universally respected in the town, though not universally liked.  The politicians realized that he could do the job, and there was almost no one else who could, and though they must have lamented the necessity, they were willing to appoint him.  He smoked and scowled and looked up at us.  Did we know what would happen, he asked.  Sooner or later the politicians would double-cross him, there would be one hell of a row, and the whole organization would break up.  We insisted that the politicians could be beaten, and he began telling us stories of dirty politics in the town, stories that seemed incredible then though we have since come to know that they were true.  Again and again we assured him that we wanted to fight, no matter what the odds.  He brought out the list of men whom the politicians had recommended as auxiliary policemen and characterized certain of them with profane eloquence.  We promised to support him if he made his acceptance conditional on his being given the right to select his own men.  And when in the end he agreed to take the job, we knew that we should never be forgiven if we let him down."

Hicks, Granville. Small Town. New York: Macmillan, 1946.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Name That Tree!

Click here for the answer(?). As always, send me an email (see my profile below) if I've got it wrong.