Sunday, February 26, 2017

Snow and more snow...

While February normally has the second lowest snowfall (next to March), this year is different. We've had, according to the NWS, 17 inches of snow this week,  almost two feet for the month, and 72 inches this winter so far  (that's almost two meters to the French). To those not from Alaska, this might not seem like much, but it is when you're running out of places to push it.

The piles next to the driveway are getting too high for the loader. Must be time for a bigger tractor!

Another job well done, at least until the next dump of snow.
Photos courtesy of Andy, who thought the blog needed some tractor porn!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sunny Daze

The one thing I've noticed about these digital cameras is that they seem to need a lot more light to get a decent photo, compared to the older film type cameras. I guess this is maybe a throwback to those who don't know what a kodak camera is, but anyway, the sun was out on the last dog run, I remembered the camera, and the sky and snow don't look gray. So no matter where yah go there yah are...
Heading through the clearing on a new trail. State forestry bulldozed this area to create a fire break about ten years ago. 
Missy takes a turn up front with Jabba . Obi looked like he needed a break, so she got some training in lead. Down to a five dog team now that Barney, Polar, and Spuds are all retired.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sign of the Beast...

Woke up the other day and saw this on the indoor/outdoor thermometer:
I figured it must be a sign of the end of times.  (According to Wikipedia, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist and the number is purportedly used to invoke Satan). Then I remembered the T-Rumpster was president and that confirmed it.
But when the world didn't end that morning, figured the best thing to do was go run some dogs.
Heading out on a new section trail; rerouted due to some major overflow  (aufeis) on the main trail.
Taking a break on the way home. Obi and Jabba have really blossomed as leaders now that Barney's retired. They act like a couple of clowns, chasing each other around the dog yard, but go figure, they're doing great leading the team. You just never know until you put'em up there.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

January Summary...

National Weather Service summary for January for Fairbanks, AK

A very cold airmass moved over the interior during the second week of the month and as skies cleared, temperatures plummeted. Fairbanks experienced its first 40 below since 2015. The temperature continued to drop and the next day the temperature dropped to 51 below at the Fairbanks Airport. This was the first 50 below or colder day since 2012.  There have been three days so far this year when the temperature has reached 40 below or colder. The average temperature was 9.5 below which ranked as the 54th coldest of 109 years of record.

Seventeen inches of snow fell during January at the Fairbanks Airport which was 6.7 inches above the normal January snowfall. This ranked as the 20th snowiest in 107 years of record. Season to date snowfall is now 55.1 inches which is 6.9 inches more than normal.

Looking forward to February, the average maximum temperature increases from 3 degrees above on the 1st to 17 degrees above on the 28th. The average minimum temperature increases from 16 degrees below on the 1st to 10 degrees below on the 28th. The average snowfall in February is 8.1 inches. Available sunshine increases from 7 hours and zero minutes on the 1st to 10 hours and 4 minutes on the 28th.

The outlook for Fairbanks in February from the Climate Prediction Center calls for near normal, temperatures and precipitation.

The main thing that struck me about this winter so far, besides how freakin' cold the forty below spell was, is how often it's snowed. Since late November, it seems like I'm out on the tractor an awful lot, at least compared to the last couple of winters. So one thing I really appreciate this year is having the rear blade hooked to hydraulics.  When we first got the tractor, it had a manual rear blade. To change to angle. you had to remove the clevis pin, push the blade to desired angle, and re-insert the pin. But you couldn't see it very well, since the pin and keeper were underneath the center support, so you had to either crawl underneath it to see it, or take off your gloves and do it by feel. I usually did the latter, my hands near freezing by the time it was done. So when my neighbor Bert offered to help convert it to hydraulics (Hydro Rear 1/23/13), well that was a pretty good deal.

So now every time I'm out plowing and have to change the angle on the rear blade, I appreciate the fine job he did,  making the work a little easier and keeping my hands a whole lot warmer.