September 25, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006



A Glorious Sunset, But No Night Sky...

As I start my last few days atop Mt. Washington, I think back on what I had hoped to see while here... a sunrise, the night sky, birds, snow, horizontal rain... except for the night sky, I've seen everything on my list and far, far more!

9:30 am - I had a hard time getting to sleep last night as the wind just roared for hours. This morning is much calmer with no audible wind....temp 31, wind 27.4, wind chill 17. I've just come in from taking some pictures, and it certainly felt like 17 out there.

Visibility is as usual, very limited, maybe 100' at the utmost. I borrowed an old moose skull from one of the state park people (thanks, Mike!) and was out and about doing my Georgia O'Keefe imitation. I'll be very curious to see how any of the pix I've taken up here come out. I KNOW my next big photo purchase will be a tripod, as Jim is convinced and persuasive that using one will improve my/anyone's photo taking exponentially.

Breakfast was cereals, etc. while I have pizza dough rising now for lunchtime. Supper tonight is baked stuffed chicken breasts with honey-glazed, oven-roasted veggies and cranberry sauce. Raspberry pie for dessert.

Company arrived late afternoon as Michelle Cruz, who does Observatory educational programs for teachers/kids/classrooms, will be leading a seminar for a group of elementary teachers here tomorrow morning. Among other things, Michelle goes into classrooms all over New England doing any one of a dozen observatory programs, not all focused on weather either. It was fun to have her at the supper table...

As I was cooking supper, Ken came into the kitchen... "Turn off that burner and and come upstairs." I moved! The beauty of the sunset... you just can't describe these things... at one point the clouds were underlit and glowing, another minute the sun gilded the cog railway track weaving a golden ribbon up the mountainside, and as I stood nose pressed to the window, a raven swooped by inches away. So very special...

A little later Jim called and I went back up to find a crystal clear twilight, the most totally fog-free I've seen it here. Black and burnt orange defined the horizon, the muted curves of the Presidentials, a distant layer of dark-shadowed clouds, a slim crescent moon, and Venus twinkling brilliantly. So very beautiful...

Supper over and the kitchen picked up, I dragged my sleeping bag up to the outside observation deck planning to spread out in the lee of the small building up there and just drink in the night sky. The fog had rolled back in. RATS!

And so, at 10 pm, it's that time again... temp is 32, wind 49.7, wind chill 14, visibility zero.

Last day tomorrow...how quickly this has come to feel like home, these folks like family... Mary

3 comments:

salmybrown said...

Mary, have enjoyed being a "hitchhiker" on your adventure to the mountain!

Anonymous said...

Take a look!
http://www.mountwashington.org/photos/journal/

Anonymous said...

I've just read the week's blogs. What an experience, and how well you've described it! Can't wait to hear more at coffee on Thursday!