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4/15/09 Weather update

In reviewing old posts, I noticed that I spent a lot of time this winter talking about the snow, the cold, more snow, more cold, etc. So now that the weather is gorgeous, y'all deserve an update. :) The picture is from Spring Camp, on a day when the near-sea-level air was heavy with gorgeous clouds. As a quick aside: I found an unexpected benefit in dropping from my mountain aerie down to sea level (ish) in a single day. The heavy, oxygen-drenched air was so thick that I could feel my lungs exerting themselves to breathe it, but the flood of oxygen felt nearly euphoric. I could run further, fly up and down flights of stairs, and generally revel in air that felt thick enough to swim in. How ironic that I had to drop low to feel high. ;)

Up here on my mountaintop, we've been getting a few sprinkles some afternoons, but no serious precipitation for a few weeks. Instead, each morning dawns blue and clear, then the day warms steadily, till a glorious sunset brings chilly evening air, the stars glitter over a cold village, and then the cycle repeats. It has been very windy, which is the only thing keeping me from spending all day every day out enjoying the glorious days.

The thin, dry mountain air up here at 2100m can't trap the heat the way humid, heavy, sea-level air can. This means that it's always warm in the sun and chilly in the shade. You feel a cloud passing in front of the sun even before your eyes register the darkening. The cool air and warm sun combine to make me feel hot and cold at the same time, in a way that always reminds me of ski trips I took as a kid: I'd sweat because of the ski parka and the exertion, but the air would still feel cold against my face and any exposed skin.

When I went to bed last night, around 10 or 11, the outside air temperature was 43 and the inside temperature was 52. In the fall, 52 would have felt chilly. Now it feels comfortable. I guess I'm adjusting to more than just the language and culture. :)

Happy Spring, everybody!

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