Crystal Lake, Manchester, New Hampshah, May 2012.
We’ve had an uncharacteristically warm winter here in Upper Cryogenica. There was a surprise early snowstorm in October, and then…pretty much nothing. A few minor storms kept refreshing the snow layer in the backyard and maintaining it at sledding levels, but we totally missed out on the regular northern New England rock-‘em-sock-‘em, six-inches-of-snow-every-day-for-two-weeks type of storms.
It’s mid-March right now, and the snow has been melting for weeks. This is what the Castle looks like at present:
And the grounds in front of the portcullis:
And our road, being a dirt road, looks like this right now.
The town road crews are valiantly leveling the road and pouring gravel into the worst spots, but it’s warm, the glop is deep, and every time something heavier than a Smart Car drives down the road, there are ruts in it again deep enough to lose a herd of cattle in.
Robin’s Forester has been braving the mud heroically. (It’s about a mile to the nearest pavement.) My Grand Caravan has not yet had to face that challenge, but this afternoon, I have to spend my Dadcation over at the car place to get the leak in the AC system fixed. If you don’t hear from me again, send out some Navy Seahawks with dipping sonar.
We had friends over on Saturday. There was some truly excellent chili, some 15-year-old single malt Scotch, and some ballistic recreation with various devices.
One of those devices was my friend’s Desert Eagle in .50AE. We shot up a sheet metal mailbox, and I’m here to tell you that if you ever get charged by a roving pack of feral mailboxes, the .50 Desert Eagle will do the job just fine. The gun is completely impractical for defense, too expensive to plink with on a regular basis, and good for nothing but handgun hunting and Having A Blast At The Range. (Of course, “because I want one” is a totally legitimate reason for buying one, and all the justification a free adult needs for the purchase of anything.)
At one point, I decided to try it one-handed:
Disclaimer: The Scotch was consumed after the handling of firearms, hearing and eye protection was used at all times, the backstop was completely safe, and the mailbox had it coming. (Unless you’re mikeb3000000n+1, in which case the targets were defenseless minority baby seals held up by frightened first-graders, hearing protection is for Commies and queers, we were completely drunk and wearing Nazi uniforms, and the backstop was a kindergarten playground at recess time.)
Oh yeah, we also had a bonfire with a ten-foot brush pile I had in the backyard waiting for the first snow to cover the ground. Propane torches are big, dirty fun for getting a very hot fire going very quickly.
Propane torches, good food, great company, fine Scotch, and powerful firearms. What better way to spend an afternoon?
Went for a drive yesterday and had to stop and take a few shots. The juxtaposition of the fresh snow and the fall foliage was just too pretty.
The scene at Castle Frostbite this morning. Lovely, innit?
Our county has an old railway trail that has been repurposed as a recreational path by a volunteer organization. It’s in use all year–you can walk, run, or ride your bike in the summer, and use it in the winter for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The path stretches through most of the county and runs along rivers and through towns. Motor vehicles aren’t allowed, so it’s a great place for taking a walk or exercising without having to watch for traffic, and the scenery is lovely. The trail runs within two or three miles of our house, so I can go out there easily any time I feel like stretching my legs and clearing my head.
Yesterday, I went for a walk along the stretch of it that goes through Enfield proper and along the shore of Mascoma Lake. I now have a way to take spur-of-the-moment pictures and videos any time I want, so I took a few shots. It was already close to dusk, but the camera in the iPhone did pretty well.
You could say we don’t have pretty autumns up here in the 603, but then I’d have to call you a lying liar who lies.
(All taken with the camera on the iPhone 4, which takes better pictures than my old dedicated point-‘n-shoot jobbie.)