One Month Down, Eleven To Go

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Above: Sunset and Moonrise over Oklahoma City, January 2017

Despite my best efforts, January has turned out to be busy for one reason or another, in some pretty boring ways. I did have a few moments of quiet to get some semblance of “caught up,” but I’ve got a little bit of work ahead before I can hopefully set the cruise control for a while.

Like most of my winters, it’s been a lean period for exciting things to write about. While I could go on political rants or talk about sports and entertainment, that wouldn’t really be a good idea… especially the political writing. There’s already enough folks doing that, and for the most part I’d rather keep my opinions to myself.

I spent a week in Oklahoma City for an aviation safety workshop at the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, and while I didn’t really get out and explore OKC that much, it was neat to see a new place. The perpetual wanderer in me approved, even if it was a work trip to “fly over” country. I even managed to dodge an inbound ice storm that rolled in as I left. I’ve had experience with mid-west ice storms from my two winters spend working for the Park Service in Missouri… I don’t feel the need to live through any more if I can avoid it.

The weather back home in the Treasure Valley has been pretty icky, to be honest. While the near-record snow hasn’t bothered me too much, the valley inversions have made my sinuses pretty unhappy. Whenever the air gets trapped for more than a few days, something that normally doesn’t bother my allergies really builds up, and after about day three of a strong winter inversion I start to feel like I’ve got a cold or sinus infection. Whatever it is, it makes my eyes water and nasal passages sting, and prompts many sneezes. At least we’re hopefully heading toward the cleaner air of spring… a brief respite until my seasonal allergies kick in. As I drink my coffee this morning the sun is shining weakly through the haze, and if I look intently to the south I can spot the outline of the snow-covered Owhyees through the brown smudge that hugs the horizon.

It’s also been an interesting winter in terms of the development around my apartment complex. When I first moved into this apartment two and a half years ago, most of the lots around it were still vacant, waiting to be developed. Every now and then I’d see a fox running around chasing whatever small animals it could find, and it was relatively quiet. In the last few months the development has caught up, and in the view from my kitchen window I can count over a dozen homes that have been started or finished since this time last year. The growth around here is pretty impressive. When I first moved here from Alaska in 2012, this area felt like it was on the ragged edge of the developed part of Meridian. Now it’s well within the suburban fringe, and infrastructure struggles to keep up with the increased traffic. Four and a half year ago, the immediate area still had an almost-rural, nearly-agrarian feel to it, but now it feels just like every other section of subdivided suburban sprawl in the greater Boise area. Things change quickly around here.

So that’s the news around here as January winds to an end. Maybe February will be more exciting… but I doubt it.

Until next time…

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About Justin Vernon

Fire and Aviation Specialist (aka jack of all trades) for the US Forest Service, based in Boise, Idaho. I'm also an amateur photographer, wanna-be writer, tech aficionado, and a classic introvert who values quiet time as much as I do the mountains and people of the Pacific Northwest. All opinions voiced are mine alone and do not represent those of the US Forest Service.
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