NOAA DISCUSSION…”Rinse and repeat! No words can better explain our
current weather regime as high pressure continues to dominate the
Northern Rockies. Inversions are just getting stronger and the
core of the surface high pressure still appears to be roughly over
the Missoula Valley where the surface pressure sits at 1030.8 mb
(8 mbs less than yesterday). Compared to this time yesterday
multiple locations above 5000 feet are 5 to 10 degrees warmer,
while lower valleys are a degree or two cooler. This pattern is
expected to continue through Tuesday.
Patience,young grasshopper, were the wise words spoken by Master
Po in the classic TV show Kung Fu. They relate to this discussion
in that our pattern looks to become more active Wednesday onward.“
Don said the other morning that “the only light we see is coming from within the house”. I might add that the interior light has often been in short supply this past week as well. These are just hard times. I’m tempted to re-read Timothy Egan’s book, The Worst Hard Time, about survival during the American Dust Bowl years, but I don’t think it will make me feel better. Strangely, I’m very much enjoying Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, by Kathleen Rooney, based on the true story of a WWI messenger pigeon. There must be something about seeing human beings through the eyes of a pigeon that makes it more bearable. My California families can no longer see one another, outside, in their yards, even with their masks on. My Billings family have just returned from a memorial service for my son-in-law’s father in Colorado. Lee is still on oxygen. Trump continues to spread existential peril around the world. The gray cloud feels everlasting.
I went for an early walk along the north shore lakebed this morning, in a light misty fog, with not a breath of breeze. It was one of those times where there was no visible horizon. Just frozen sand and ice, and quiet open water, merging into the gray sky. There was not a sound. Even the four eagles I spotted were quiet. I thought of all the memories I have of being there in winter with family and friends, ice skating in the best years. Once upon a time, I would never see anyone else. There used to be a falling down homestead on the path out to the water, and I have beautiful photos of the rising sun, shining through windows where once there was glass. For a while, the ancient willow tree still remained, next to the homestead that was removed, and I have lovely photos to remember it by, as the setting sun illuminated its golden branches. Now, no one would know they’d ever been there, and new homes line the access road. Dog owners have discovered this as a great place to let their dogs run free. There was a pair of bird hunters this morning, setting up incredibly realistic Canada geese decoys in the water, and when a flock of geese flew overhead, some of the decoys flapped their wings and the call made by the hunters was inextinguishable from the real thing. I silently yelled out to the passing geese to “fly high, fly high”, and knew I wouldn’t turn to look if I heard a shot. It’s still a place where you feel you should whisper, and we’ll take our quiet annual Winter Solstice walk out there very soon. It was a reminder to me this morning that things are always changing, and these bad times will change as well. Patience.
“Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.”
“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,'” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass