Winter is Coming

I walked to my fifth prelim of the semester in snow last night, and this morning, the slope had turned white.  Ithaca’s twelve five months of winter are beginning.

But I’m actually not going to complain about the weather right now.  Last Tuesday it was over 60 degrees and I went for a walk in shorts and a t-shirt.  I was actually just going to Collegetown on an errand but as I was heading back to West, I decided it was so nice out that I should check out a trail that I walked past a few times a week all summer.  It turns out there’s a short trail-like path behind the engineering quad that loops around a section of the creek.

After walking back to the start of the trail, I decided the weather really was too nice to waste, so I then went up to North Campus and walked the entire way around Beebe Lake.  A lot of the leaves had already fallen, but the sun was out, and the walk was totally worth it.

And then I got back to my room and had an organic chemistry problem set and quiz, pre-lab, a lab report, and creative writing critiques to complete, as well as the first of three prelims in eight days to study for.

Back in the Saddle

Since moving back to West Campus for the school year, I have started a new set of classes of only moderate terribleness.*  I’m getting sucked into the spinning vortex of problem set terror, already sleep deprived, and slightly hungry, so overall, all’s well in ChemE land.

Besides classes, I’ve also worked a couple shifts for Cornell Productions, including Ordinary People’s event at the Cornell Cinema the other night.  Pep band started up and we’ve had our first rehearsal for the semester as well as a field hockey game.  Ironically enough, after spending the entire summer in Ithaca, the closest I got to getting sunburned, which doesn’t happen easily to me, was at the field hockey game.  In September.  I have determined that the combination of direct sunlight (radiative heat transfer) and the bleachers (reflection = even more radiative heat transfer) caused my near encounter with fried skin cells.

By this point in my college career, I’ve fulfilled my PE requirements, and so I’m taking Small Boat Sailing for fun.  Last weekend we learned to rig the boats we’ll be taking out and then we had to capsize the boats on purpose.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  The water was cold, but the coldest part of the class was when we got out of the water and the previously windless day turned into a strong breeze in about thirty seconds.

 

No pictures from sailing, but here’s Cayuga Lake as seen from Taughannock State Park.

Other than that, my parents and brother came up to Cornell for Labor Day weekend.  We stayed in a cabin at Taughannock State Park and hiked there, Buttermilk Falls, and Watkins Glen, and also went to the Corning Museum of Glass.  It was a fun weekend, but it was surprisingly crowded at the state parks and the museum.  I think the fact that it was a holiday weekend plus the “last” weekend of summer contributed to the crowds.  Though the temperature has dropped considerably since then and the sky has returned to its standard greyness.  Pre-winter, here we come.

 

Watkins Glen

*My classes actually aren’t terrible at all and in fact, are less annoying than the dozens of emails I get every day.   Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, I do not need three reminders before every event.

The Four Seasons Revisited

Ithaca isn’t actually awful all of the time.  And we do really have fall and spring.  [Of course, shortly after I wrote that, we had a day of temperatures in the high 70s (in Fahrenheit) immediately followed by a day that started out with rain that turned into hail/sleet that turned into snow. . . . Incidentally, that sounds a lot like post-winter.]

Anyway, I’m going to pretend it’s not 23°F outside and that it’s not snowing and that the weather is occasionally not terrible.

In fact, sometimes it’s even nice enough to do things like go hiking (though I would like to try winter hiking some time).  The following picture from last fall proves that the leaves on the deciduous trees in Ithaca do lose their chlorophyll* around October and that is indeed sun in the upper right corner.

Hiking at Buttermilk Falls

I know I’ve already posted the next picture (and, actually, the one above . . . multiple times), but last semester there were a couple of the best sunsets I have ever seen.  Here’s one of them:

And I looked for a picture of spring in Ithaca, but all my pictures from this semester either have 1) snow, 2) a grey sky, or 3) both, so I had to find a picture from last year.  AAIV (the Christian fellowship I participate in) had an event at a nearby state park and the weather was fantastic.  In fact, some people may even have thought it was too hot.  But seriously, I would take too hot over the snow that’s currently flying past my window.

Treman State Park

To finish this post, my freshman year, I would frequently walk past the lake on North Campus to get to class.  I decided to create a series of photos that can be appropriately called “The Four Seasons.”

*The loss of chlorophyll, a green pigment, allows the red/orange/yellow pigments, which are present in lesser amounts than chlorophyll, to be seen during fall.  This is the phenomenon known colloquially as the leaves “changing colors,” i.e., normal people don’t usually see yellow leaves and think “chlorophyll loss.”