During this last week the temperature dropped suddenly. As I walked to work one morning, I stepped into the outside air and my face was bitten by the blisteringly cold winds and my chin was frozen beyond feeling after the 100 yard walk. In my classroom I have a temperature gauge that tells inside and outside temps. When I got to the classroom I checked it and it read -4, no wonder I was freezing. The wind was blowing at about 20-30 miles an hour, which is not uncommon. The wind chill adds a real bite to the cold that can only be explained as painful (at least to my central California skin). It is not just really cold, it becomes dangerous. Frostbite can happen in 20 minutes in these kinds of conditions. The next couple days the temp stayed between 4 and -4. And we got some good snowfall I think around a foot. It's not easy to tell how much snow we got from just by looking outside because the snow is very dry and, since it is so windy, it gets blown around everywhere. There were spots where there is no snow on the ground and there were spots of a few feet of snow. Since then it has been snowing off and on and everything is pretty much covered now.
Below are pictures of the river, which is not so river-like anymore. This last week the ice arrived from up North and there is a steady stream of big chunks of ice floating down. It is starting to slow down a little and soon it will stop and the whole thing will freeze over. From the beach it looks pretty much frozen over, but from my house and the upper village you can see the main channel still has lots of ice moving.
Some people are already ice fishing, which is pretty crazy because the ice is very thin still and not even frozen in some spots. I'm excited about ice fishing too, but I think I'd rather wait and make sure I live through the experience. I really like how the pictures of the beach turned out, so posted a bunch of them.