FTLComm - Tisdale - December 1, 1999

With Monday's strong South wind and sunshine the temperature rose to nearly +10 and of course turned what little snow that we had into water. The field above is now quite bare compared to this picture taken around 2:00.

The streets immediately turned to slush and pedestrians were endangered by every passing vehicle. This brief dash of winter had only amounted to a few days of snow on the ground, much as what we would normally experience in October or November and this return to fall temperatures is a surprise to everyone. The interesting thing about it is that it is
expected to stay warm for a
few more days. During the night the temperature did not fall below freezing though as dawn approached it did slip to -1.

This is the way things looked as we gaze through the van's windshield North on Main street with a splatters and mist quickly obscuring pictures taken in this manner.

The picture below shows main street looking South to the central business district with the dark shadows of the low angled sun and the glistening water covered street.

It is remarkable how the
sun and temperature affects
our spirits and sets the stage for the way we view and perceive things. We are poised between the fierce edge of winter and the moderating temperate conditions of fall. Wearing a fall jacket but with the parka and shovel in the trunk, just in case. Somehow it seems fitting that as this century draws to a close that we can sense that apprehension of the future while still aware of the present and the past that shaped it. The rolling over of the calendar is more then just marking time, it is a dramatic moment in the history of our race as we reflect on what we are and what we have and
have not achieved.

We have to find a balance between our looking ahead and remembering where we have been so that the present will remain viable and within our comprehension. Television, newspapers, magazines and radio are all doing their part to help us put some really big issues into perspective. Who was the greatest prime minister in this century, the greatest athlete, the worst disaster, the most important cultural events and the times when we humans came up a little short. We each can do the same with our lives during this month, it is a good time to do an inventory and make some plans for improvements or changes. Just keep an eye on the review mirror and try to keep the pace at a reasonable and controllable level and we will make it through this century and into the next. As for the millennium, well that just seems to big for me to think about.
It was the picture below right that made me realise the importance of this climatic aberration, this last gasp of fall, the cloud in that picture is the sort of thing you see in the spring, a massive cumulus bundle lofty and benign. When ever things on the surface seem to be a little heavy it is a good plan to look up and see beyond the slush and the puddles and gaze into the infinite and the illusionary world above us.
I had walked down town for the mail, then used the van to roam around for a short while then when I got back home I decided to walk once around the block. This was a great idea as you can see in these images. Below left we are looking down the back alley and two blocks away are the front doors of the elementary school, as I snapped that image the school bus was arriving in the area to make its pick up as it was about 3:20.
I always have problems deciding how big should I place a picture on these pages because I know it takes a long time for them to download but at the same time, you who come to these pages have learned to expect some delays. The picture below is very unusual in that it is two pictures. I took the camera pointed it at the horizon then took one frame more above and then combined the two pictures to create this large vertical image.
The warm air encountering the cool air of the North turns the water vapour into visible structures in the sky, massive sculptures of moving flowing air. The sky foam below left is almost five miles above the surface while the swirls below right are the same sort of formation on seen from the side thirty miles to the South.