Saturday, March 3, 2012

3/03/12 - What? Snow at Last

Everywhere snow, gathered into sloping drifts about the walls and fences, and, beneath the snow, the frozen ground, and men are compelled to deposit the summers provision in burrows in the earth like the ground squirrel. Many creatures, daunted by the prospect, migrated in the fall, but man remains and walls over the frozen snow-crust and over the stiffened rivers and ponds, and draws now upon his summer stores.  Life is reduced to its lowest terms.
Henry David Thoreau, Journal February 18, 1852 (III, 312 - 313)

Surprise this morning ... all fresh fallen snow.  The woods were all mine.  And so, with snowshoes on the hoof, I beat a fresh track upward on the mountain to see what progress might have been made this week.  My only companion was the fog and a gentle breeze.  I also passed the tracks of a deer and a rabbit who made an Olympic length jump of approximately 15 feet from one side of the trail to the other, including a barrier of a fallen tree limb!
Frost's Woods
Fresh Tracks
 Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.
R. Frost

Snow Clad Summit

Outside the Barrier
Through the Fence
 Obvious heavy build-up on the chain link fence created a unique visual pattern.  How Mother Nature does what she does!  Amazing.

NE Corner Through a "Crack" in the Fence
 Not enough of a crack to enter however.  I checked and the ice and snow at the base is holding this section (see lower right of the picture) in place.  When it melts, there will be another section on the ground.
Encased in Ice, But Still Flying
Double Icicles
Snow Covered
 Today we get a look at what the new tower will look like in future snow and ice storms.  I am sure the design team took all this into account, along with high winds.

Our Favorite NE Corner
Notice how the fencing is almost totally iced up.  Obviously, one can't see through the screen at this point.  I wonder what a heavy wind would do to the screen if it hit at this point?

NE Corner with Flag
As far as progress this week, I did notice one thing ... other than the fencing issues.  The wooden support on the railing that wraps around the base, as it follows the ramp to the Observation Deck, is being put in place.  It is held, in place with C-Clamps until it can be locked in place with bolts.  I wonder too, if the C-Clamps will cause it to "warp" into position before the bolts are applied.  The picture below provides evidence that a perfectly straight piece of wood will not work.  Somehow it has to be put in place to conform to the top of the screen.

NW Corner - Railing Being Positioned
The Western Ramp

Just beyond the picture above, the ramp moves along the western side of the structure.  Notice here that the wooden railing has not yet been affixed.

Western Wall
And the cocoon that protected Mick, while finishing up his stone work, has been removed.

Site Fence - Western Perimeter
 Here we see that the fence that had blown down last week has been returned to it's standing position.  The stood it up and used some wire to secure it to adjacent sections.

Southern Facade
SE Corner - Ramp Begins
And so it was time to return home.  But ... not before meeting Mary Cadwallader, Princeton resident and ex-President of the Princeton Historical Society.  She had just reached the summit with one of her dogs.  They arrived by way of the Summit Road.  Always good to meet an old friend on the mountain.
Through the Looking Glass
 Today, there was no view out towards Worcester as the fog was too thick to provide much more than a grey misty picture.  So, at best, a look back down one of the trail markers.


Adios amigos! 

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