Monday, February 28, 2011

My Town Monday: How to Complain About Michigan Weather

Michiganders love to complain about the weather.  There are some guidelines for these complaints, though, so everyone is on the same page.

If it's in the thirtys and snowy in January or February, complain about it being too snowy.
If it's below zero in January, complain about it being too cold (and ask where's global warming?!?)
If it snows in January or February, complain about how you're done with winter already.

If it's still below freezing any time in March, complain that it's supposed to be spring (and ask where's global warming.)
If it's warm in early spring, complain that everything is muddy from the melting snow.
If there's snow in late March, complain about how you're sooooo tired of winter!
If it's warm during the day, but cold at night in March, complain about how cold it is at night, as if it's some anomaly.

If it's in the 70s before June, complain about how long winter was.
If it rains a lot in March, April, or May, complain about the dreary weather and you're ready for summer.
If it's below freezing at any time in the spring, complain about how winter is supposed to be over!  (Don't forget to ask where global warming is.)

If it's over 80 in early summer, complain about the humidity or complain about how it's too early in the summer for heat like that.
If it's below 40 any time in early summer, complain about how it's still cold and how summer's NEVER going to start.
If it's hot and dry during the summer, complain about how brown and burnt all the plants are.  If you live on a lake, complain about low lake levels.
If it's hot and humid during the late summer, start complaining about how you're ready for fall.
If the temperature is in the 70s, complain about how cold the store air conditioning is or about how it's not hot enough.

If the temperature drops below 50 in September, complain about how you're not ready for summer to end.
If the temperature shoots up to 80s in September, complain about how you're done with summer.
If it's cold and wet on Halloween, complain about how it's always cold and wet on Halloween.

If it's below 40 in November, complain about how you're not ready for winter.

If it snows more than once in December, each subsequent time requires complaining about how you're done with snow already, even though it's barely started. 

That about covers it.  Happy complaining!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Town Monday: Ice Harvesting Exhibit at the CoBACH Center

The old town hall in Brighton was recently repurposed for use by the the Brighton Area Historical Society.  They've been doing some different exhibits.  For the month of February, it's ice harvesting, which was a huge industry in the early 1900s, not just in Livingston County but in many colder climates.  During the winter, local residents and migrant workers would score the ice and break it into large blocks. It would be stored in ice houses along the shore.  During the summer months, the ice houses would be slowly emptied of their ice. 

The CoBACH center (City of Brighton Art, Culture, and History Center) borrowed some items from the Port Huron Ice Harvesting Museum and set up a rather nice display.  There were local photos of the ice houses and information about the tools of the trade.  They also made a mock up of a small ice house. 

I went there with Hubby and my Baby Son and we happened to go at the right time, I think.  One of the leaders of the Brighton Area Historical Society was there giving a well-informed tour.  My son was fixated on the sound of the tour guides voice, which was amusing.  (The kid's only 8 months old, so I'm sure he wasn't that interested in ice harvesting.) 

 This is an image of the Mill Pond in Brighton.  You can see the ice house on the shore past the boaters.
Here's some more recent images of the Mill Pond.  The ice house sat where the brick building (barely visible over the bridge in the second photo) is today
There's one more week of the Ice Harvesting Exhibit.  I wonder what slice of local history will be displayed next? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Town Monday: 6 More Weeks of Winter

Puxatawny Phil predicted an early spring.  Livingston County's own woodchuck (aka groundhog) Woody predicted 6 more weeks of winter.  Now, Woody's record is 9/12 correct so far, so my money is on her.

That said, in Michigan, 6 more weeks of winter WOULD be an early spring.  Sure, the vernal equinox falls March 21st (ish), which is about 6 weeks after February 2nd, but that's hardly the start of spring in the Mitten shaped state.  Not weather wise at any rate.  There is often still snow on the ground and one last snowfall in late March. 

Spring doesn't really start here until mid or late April.  That's when the weather starts to stay above freezing during the day.  And the sun comes out from behind never ending piles of gray clouds.  It feels so good to Michiganders, that winter coats are often prematurely shed in the "warm" weather.  By the end of April, it feels like spring is finally starting.

That's also the start of road construction season...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Town Monday: Snow Storm

Snow is part of Michigan winters.  And that includes the occasional snow storm.  The Big One last Wednesday was a bit overhyped in my area, and, as with all things overbyped, it did not live up to the predictions.  In my area, we got about 6 inches of snow. 

This is about the amount needed to shut the area down for a day or so.  Livingston County is part rural, part suburb-- but not a very dense suburb.  It is largely a bedroom community to places like Ann Arbor and Detroit.


So, the snow fell.  It piled up on top of the previous inches-- I think there was about 6 inches from prior snowfalls currently on the ground.

My driveway was complete obscured by the falling and blowing snow.  I'm standing next to my garage.  The road is past the fence.  This driveway is only marginally longer than average.

Yes, we have a snowblower.  

One of the most interesting thing about the last snow storm was how quite the world got.  Few cars ventured out most of the next day. I rather liked it myself. 

Also absent from the roads were snow plows.  I live on a main road heading into one of the two larger towns in the county.  Well, it's called a city, but it's not very big.  (I know, it's a term that defines local government size and function more so than population size and density.)  Anyway, usually this road is one of the first and best plowed, being that about a mile away it turns into Main Street.  But even at 1 in the afternoon, the road is still snow covered. 

Not bad though.  One could easily get around in this sort of snow fall.  I don't care much for driving in snow-- but that's just because other drives don't have the sense to slow down and exercise caution. 

I happen to like when the snow comes down and the world is quiet.  It's peaceful.  There's nothing quite like the barely perceptible sound of snow falling-- yes, it has a sound.