Atmosphere

Living Inside the Mountain or Flying With the Ravens

When it got down to 20 Below last week, ice appeared along the ditch of the Grey Canal Trail in Vernon. This is not ice from the water the city has been pouring into this trail. This came from the soil itself.

Thing is, I’ve never seen this bank do this before. It’s sure doing it now, though. Water is coming out of the soil, up to about 20 centimetres above the level of the free water in the ditch, then freezing in the air. I wonder if the cold has entered the soil and pushed the water out, in essence increasing its flow rate with the compression of expanding ice. If so, this would be an instant of cold increasing the pressure of gravity, by reversing the pull of the atmosphere on the soil surface, which usually keeps water in a tension between rising into the air and flowing downslope.

How, you might ask, can this be? Just one of the tricks the Coast Mountains play on the land inland from the sea. This grassland is commonly called “A Rain Shadow,” but that’s not it. It’s not that it doesn’t rain here. It’s that the mountains create a shadow of pressure in the air. In effect, we all live inside the mountains here. We are all being lifted up by them. They’re a wing. And. you know what that means? That’s right.

Another chance for a raven picture, because ravens know all this stuff best.

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