It’s sunny outside.
That may seem like a pretty innocent statement, but I assure you it is not. Actual sunlight streaming through my window is a very big deal. Mister Sol has been notably absent for the last 6 or 8 weeks. It’s probably a good thing that we have taken a little break from doing the Insider because I wouldn’t have had anything nice to say. As my mother used to say, "if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
The lack of sun has had a couple of interesting effects. One has been the complete absence of sound or wildlife. Winter is always rather quiet out there in the forest, particularly when the temperatures drop down into the single digits. However, after the big freeze when it finally warmed up, we had days upon days of fog. Apparently, the critters stay home not only when it’s raining, snowing, and freezing, but also when it’s foggy. Today, every bird squirrel and small animal in the forest is chattering up a storm. Clearly, I’m not the only one who is thrilled to see the sun.
Another side effect of the endless dreary weather has been a case of serious cabin fever. Everyone always says that Sandpoint is a "recreation paradise" and that may be true when the weather isn’t terrible. But this isn’t Colorado with its 300 days of sunshine. According to a local weather pundit in Coeur d’Alene, we had 26 hours of sunlight in January.
Measuring light in hours, instead of days is pretty disheartening. The dank dismal weather also makes outdoor pursuits a lot less fun. Snow shoeing and skiing at our elevation has been really unpleasant lately. When it’s drizzling, do you really want to do tromp around in slush? Me neither.
This would have been a good winter to be a ski bum. Often the cloud layer is below the top of Schweitzer. Many times when it’s cloudy down in the valley, it’s beautiful up there. Sadly, I have to work, so being a ski bum is problematic. However, we’ve now passed Valentine’s Day, which means we’re on the downward slide toward spring. And hopefully Cabin Fever Season will be over.