The dial of the weather is set to frozen this morning. The blades of grass crunch underneath your feet.
Throughout today, December 9, the skies will be free of clouds, and there will be no rain. The temperature will rise to 43°. The wind blows a steady seven knots from the north, and the moon now low in the sky is far along its path to set in the west.
Low tide will pull the seawaters back out from the river inlets at 8:06 a.m. High tide will come flooding back at 1:57 p.m., raising the river a respectable three feet nd four inches.
Hills. trees and houses begin to take shape in the shadows revealed against a lightening horizon.
Astronomical dawn has only just announced the coming sunrise. Beginning at 7:13 a.m., that fiery ball will blast the land and seas with showers of photons for nine hours and 13 minutes.
Which is lucky. Reykjavik has only four hours and 29 minutes of sunlight today. In Svalbard, a dense chain of islands in Norway, there will be no sun at all. The 450 souls who live there have been in darkness since November. Polar night.
For the mountain forecast, now we go to Bjorn Jorgensen out at Belleayre Mountain.
Bjorn, what can you tell us? Have you made the summit this morning?
Bjorn: Yes, of course. But it has been with more difficulty then usual.
Johannes: Your ankle?
Bjorn: Yes, my ankle is badly swollen now. I do most of the walking with my wooden crutches. But luckily I erected a snowman near my flat after the last snow. I call him Karl. I have improvised to pack snow around the bad ankle with a scarf, replenishing it from the snowman. Karl is donating his body, little by little.
Johannes: From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs, eh? Is it impolite to ask how you injured your ankle?
Bjorn: Oh, it was a miscalculation. Near to the fire was an unusually striking birch tree, surrounded in quite a bit of snow that had refused to melt. This is a tree with white and brown stripes, and with the aid of a ladder we had placed about 20 candles up in the branches.
It was quite something. I had come down off the ladder and had backed up to admire the sight of it. That’s when I thought I heard the calls of geese, and I turned to look. Down I went. The pain was unbearable and as I lay gasping in the snow, sure enough, there were the geese flying overhead. More than 25 of them coming over the mountain in a flying wedge, honking to each other. I don’t know where they were going, but it wasn’t south.
Johannes: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.
Bjorn: I think when the snow falls again, this should be Sunday, I will not make the summit, but I have a telescope and can keep an eye on it with Karl as my companion.
Johannes: Snow willing, Bjorn. Marx must be replenished. Well, stay off your ankle. We’ll check back in tomorrow.
Bjorn: Oh, yes. It is presently zero degrees Celsius at the summit.
Closer to the river sunset is at 4:26 p.m., and an hour later, the waning moon will rise again. Geese or no geese.