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Monday, October 1, 2012

A North Wind

A cold wind gathers in Canada, starting to move south across the great plains of America. There is no beginning for a wind; wind has been since earth first developed an atmosphere billions of years ago. Wind is how the earth moves solar energy from the equator to the poles. It is not the beginning but it is a beginning, a continuation of millions of cycles, a circle with no beginning. This wind is another cycle of earths breathing. Atoms of nitrogen and oxygen are losing energy, slowly bleeding heat away with the patience of eternity.
With winter the cold air collects in Canada, the sun rises later not climbing as high then sets earlier, less heat from the sun during the day with more loss of heat at night. Every atom has less energy to push away the other atoms crowding around it; allowing more to gather then the air becomes heavier and denser. Our early ancestors were mystified and frighten by magical wind and rain, thinking gods were happy or angry with them. With our 21st century science we understand the physics of weather and this knowledge has replaced fear with comfort, magic is now a natural wonder.
It is downhill from Canada to the Texas gulf coast. As the cold air mass rolls downhill it gathers warmth from the land and air, by the time it reaches Houston Texas it has become mild and pleasant. Fall in Texas is a time to leave windows open allowing cool fresh air to replace to stale indoor A/C air that has accumulated all summer. By January the cold fronts can be bitter, known as “Northers” (sic), for now the cold front is well come relief from the grueling summer heat. The dog days of summer replaced by a cat curled before a fireplace. When it gets a little colder my wife will make hot chili in a large pot that is never enough, the hot filling foods of winter replacing the light cool foods of summer.
I enjoy the slow changing of seasons, knowing what to expect but never knowing now much or exactly when. Even with a solid scientific understanding the world maintains its delightful mystery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great information about wind. I didn't realize that it had a function. Only joking.

Enjoy reading your lighthearted educational blogs. Keep up the good work.