Pretty pretty

I have not posted in a while.

School has started.

There has been snow on the ground since December 1st. 64 days of snow and mostly cloudy weather.

I have not posted in a while.

Yeah, the above pretty much covers it. I am sick, sick, sick of snow. Although at least now we are having temperatures above zero (F) — for awhile, wind chill was at -25 and the dogs, they were not getting their usual allotment of walks. There was instead much running around the house with toys, which tires me out long before it does them.

School is going fine. I teach creative writing in the spring, which is a nice pick-me-up after an autumn of all freshman composition.

Back to winter, though — and why not? Seems like it’s gonna be here forfreakingever. One thing an Iowa winter does nicely is pogonip (or, since all online sources I find say pogonip only happens in the western US, a pogonip-like substance). Pogonip, from the Shoshone/Paiute, refers to frozen fog and means, literally, “white death,” as it’s 1) easy to get lost in and 2) dangerous to breathe. It’s pretty, though, and leaves all the trees and bushes looking like this (click to embiggen):

frost-bush.jpg

frost-branch.jpg

When we get this fog on a school day, as invariably happens once or twice a semester, I tell my students that it’s called pogonip and what the word means and one or two are dorks like me who like knowing the words for things and the others clearly think I’m nuts but are willing to entertain any discussion that’s not actually about our course content. But hey, being gently nuts is practically part of the job description for college professors, especially humanities professors, and most especially writing professors, so I’ll continue to pogonip my way through our Iowa winters.

In completely unrelated prettiness, check out this gorgeous cauliflower.* At first I thought the pic had been photoshopped, but no, that’s how a romanesco cauliflower looks. Too pretty to eat, yes? Also too green and healthy, but that’s just my mid-winter, no sunshine junkfood phase talking.

Now moving from pretty to just darn cute, here’s a series of pics showing Violet playing with her beloved squeeky ball (click to embiggen):

#1 Ready to play:

violet-start.jpg

#2 The catch:

violet-catch.jpg

#3 Retrieval successful:

violet-got-it.jpg

#4 Do it again! (if you can take the ball from me — grrrrrowwwl):

violet-last.jpg

*two words I never thought I’d use together

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