Since we got our first snow I thought it only right to have a snow day. Of course our district does not close school for snow, wind, blizzard or really any kind of weather but I can still play after school. Incidentally they should have some built in snow days or ’emergency’ days for all the other things that may close school… water…electricity… heat… fire… break in… We are considering starting a pool for what will shut it down first this year.
Our first snow was little and melted quickly. Our second snow was much more significant.
Perhaps 4 inches in a few hours and it lasted several days. I tried to take pictures but it is so hard. The flakes are small and moving fast. There is not enough light in the dark to get more than the closest ones. The flash doesn’t help much because the snow reflects it so again only the closest ones are seen. In a long exposure like the one to the right they streak making them look like rain. I just can’t figure out a way to properly capture it, properly exposed and focused all the way back.
The day after it snowed I got the class out on skis, no small feat the the first time. After school I got my snowgo out for a quick ride to the mountains. What would have taken hours of kidney pounding bumps by 4wheeler the day before was maybe 45 minutes and fairly smooth with a coat of snow.
I was hoping to stumble on some caribou which have been filtering out of a pass, but no such luck. I did see a few tracks which showed that one or two had been through but no herds and nothing very fresh. Not far from the tracks was a row of antlers which appeared to be the collection of several years. The most recent was only a year or so old while the oldest appeared quite weathered.
All this was Tuesday. Today is Saturday the snow is gone again but for the first time since being here I have actually seen caribou from the school. There was a herd of perhaps 200 coming from the mountain pass and down to the river below (west) Shungnak. At their closest they may have been 4 miles off. Even with binoculars they were only white blobs. But they were clearly moving and individual blobs could be distinguished from the tundra.
Needless to say I was very excited. I took off for the airport to the west to get a better look and see if I might be able to position to intercept them. They had been moving fairly slowly but must have picked up speed because by the time I got there they were already gone into the trees by the river. They were too far for me to have spooked them but for some reason they must have decided to pick up the pace.
Tomorrow I may go out with a friend by boat and look.
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