Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-03-06 – Above freezing? Wind chill isn’t a factor… is it?

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Exciting day today!  Crawling out of bed and checking the weather in Red Wing, it was already above freezing and looking to be an actual sunrise.  Walking up, I was speculating to myself how far the sun might have moved in the week since I’d last seen it.  The closer we get to equinox, the faster the sun seems to be moving across the horizon… but I’d have to go back to my photos and measure the monthly movement.

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 6:10 AM
Sunrise: 6:39 AM
Daylight: 12 hrs, 24 min

Starting up the trail, the path underfoot was stable and firm, without any snow or ice… or even mud, which was surprising.  On the other hand, since the temperature had dipped below freezing overnight, that likely had a lot to do with it!  Walking, I was looking forward to the sunrise making up for the lack of Northern Lights last night.  And, you know, the developing color under the thin sliver of waning crescent moon was remarkably pretty.

There was a stiff breeze blowing, though.  Where the tripod legs are usually positioned braced it against the wind without any adjustment needed, but it was still a factor… at least for the human.

_MG_6861On a day like this, I don’t wear as much winter gear, and what extra layers I do wear aren’t as thick.  That might have been a mistake, today.  In the push to get to the eastern overlook at least ten minutes before sunrise to capture the colors, I was exposed to the 14-mph breeze for a little over twenty minutes.  I was wearing my hunting gloves; exposed fingertips with a mitten-style cap.  And I was so focused on the first sun I’d seen in a week that I didn’t notice just how long my fingers were in the cold… until I’d packed up and turned to go.  At that point, the awareness dawned that my fingers were numb from the first joint out

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that wind chill is not a factor, just because the temperature is above freezing!

On the plus side, the sun came up as a big red ball, with some of that rippling effect around it that you sometimes see in the desert, gilding the clouds around it.  The only thing missing were reflections in the water; I guess the breeze was stirring up the surface too much for that.

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