It’Snow Fun – Cross-Country Skiing in Perrysburg

Three to four inches (75 to 100 mm) of the lightest, coldest (around 10 F (-12 C))  powder snow was just an illusion in Perrysburg last weekend (Feb 2, 2013).


The geese are too cold to shake the snow from their backs


The oldest of the beehives, with its 3 year old queen, gave up the ghost, along with about 4,000 worker bees, in the deepest cold of winter, despite having honey to spare.


There was a strange crystaline material in open honeycomb cells in the middle of the dead cluster. Some said it is crystalized honey.  Has anybody seen this before?


The new hive is very healthy and energetic.

I set the  Black Diamond trail and the Green cross-country ski trails and did nasty damage to the ski bottoms as the powder just blows away when you ski through it, revealing grass which wipes off all the ski wax and nasty little stones which do worse damage.


The trail has been reset to start at the Constitution Cannons at the East end, and circle old Fort Meigs at the West end. (The Green trail starts below the Cannons and runs flat and level along Water Street for complete beginners). The new asphalt path under the Maumee bridge is very helpful. It is very clean so a little snow covers it well.

Best verified times for the full loop are now being recorded:

Black Diamond Trail, ungroomed, 70 yr+ age category:   58 mins

Green Trail  52 mins

The trouble with powder snow and no base is that it offers no tracking direction to the skiis. When they touch a tree root they wander at will, often invoking the laws of unitended consequences.

Three heavy bruises were detected by the Detroit airport full body scanner (see previous ski blog) on Tuesday morning at 5:30 on my way to New Orleans to complete my farewell to IGMA friends and the glass industry I knew so well, having now happily retired.

In Nawlins (New Orleans, LA) Preservation Hall has 45 mins of grand old Dixieland music, every hour, on the hour, for $15. Not to be missed. They had a drum solo in St Louis Blues that must have lasted at least 4 minutes – audience and all were equally delighted and exhausted.

Preservation Hall Sign

Further East along Bourbon Street, on the North side, is Fritzels where Tom Fischer’s band plays traditional Dixieland jazz (there are very few places left), allow photographs and serve good beer.

FritzelsRichard Scott the pianist plays awesome Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton:

Big beads are the fashion this year as New Orleans warms up for Mardi Gras on Tuesday 12th. Feb.






Winter Works

Finally a snow fall last weekend with snow so pure that when I shovelled it off the balcony it left a puff of the finest snow smoke in the air – sorry, no sun so no photo.

First Winter Works job: shovel the bee hive doorway. A few hours later they were pitching out their aged dead. I’m assured it’s a sign of a healthy hive!








Next task was to set the Cross Country Ski Trail for the first time this winter. There was enough snow for two full days excellent skiing.  The trail now has room for 3 levels of skier. The delightful trail on the second day showed that it is shared with deer and cayote judging by the tracks. All I need now is more snow and more skiers.

(The map is under development. Google mistakenly thought I was trying to edit their view of Perrysburg and I failed an audit of my changes by one of their “trusted reviewers”!)

Meanwhile “Munger Mogul” looks like this, with a nice herringbone climb up and easy glide down towards “Belazi Bowl”.








The final winter work is the perhaps surprising task of watching for meteorites.  Brian Pejovic in “Man and Meteorites” says about 10 tons per day of space stuff land on earth. Roughly speaking that converts to just over one small (1/8″ or 3 mm dia) piece per square mile per day. Winter ice is the perfect place to look for one.  I checked that they don’t melt through even though they’re very hot when they land by heating a variety of different size stones, from the dirt road by the river,

to yellow/orange color (about 1000 C or 2000 F).

I put them on ice and watched them partially sink as they melted the ice and cooled.

By the time they had completely cooled they had only sunk about 2/3 of their size, no matter whether they were large or small. (Big ones have more heat but would have to melt more ice before they could sink out of sight). So this shows that hot meteorites probably don’t melt through ice when they land.

Another test I did for the bigger ones was to lob a 5 lb. rock onto about 2″ thick ice, from a height of around 20 ft.  While the rock punched a hole in the ice, the water behind it prevented it from going through like a stone through a glass window. The rock simply bounced a short distance away.







From all this I conclude it is well worth watching for odd stones in the very small to tennis ball size range when you are out on the ice.

One of the best ways to increase your chances of finding one is to increase the search. So if all the blog readers look we actually might catch one. Let us know if you do? A bigger one is very valuable – pick it up carefully with a clean paper to keep it pure.