Saturday night we got the first real snow of the weekend. It only amounted to a couple of inches, but it was just the first act of 24 hours of the heaviest overcast I’ve seen since a boy in Detroit. So yesterday was pretty miserable, humidity-wise, but it never got very cold. It never rained or snowed again but one percentage point would probably have brought it on.
Right after sundown, perversity set in and the sky cleared. Which meant I woke this morning to a nip in the air outside my blankie, cold toes, and a kitten who was by no means anxious to leave her place snuggled against my chest. Not a cloud in the sky, which is that glorious shade of blue you only get at high altitude when most of the humidity seems to have condensed out of the atmosphere. Everything outside is covered with hoarfrost. I shuffled around my first-thing chores grumbling about frostbite and remembering what a morning like this would have been like if I were still in that horrible cold trailer I lived in for five years and loved immoderately – except on stormy nights and mornings like this. Compared to those mornings, this is nothing. There’s no unmelted snow on the floor, I can see through the windows, and the door isn’t frozen shut.
I’m happy to bring the pleasant news that new solar panels will indeed give you some charge even in the heaviest of overcast, once you’ve cleaned the snow off the panels. It probably wouldn’t amount to much in a real solar electric system, but when you’ve only got the two batteries it makes a measurable difference. Though I didn’t exactly sit up all night watching movies, because that would have been stupid, there was never a time when I thought, as I often did last winter, “I should turn off the lights and go to bed while there’s something besides pure water in the batteries.”