Campus on the Eve of an Un-Rainy Commencement

Threatening storm clouds gathered over campus on the eve of Commencement this year, forcing the event inside… Only for the weather to be sunny and mild the next day. Even access to flying robots can’t fix the chaos of weather prediction.

Campus on the Eve of an Un-Rainy Commencement

Notre Dame Avant le Feu

So many people have a connection to Notre Dame, and in the hours after the fire was announced, it seemed like everyone had their personal Notre Dame picture to show. The number of visitors explains the ubiquity: 30,000 people per day, 13,000,000 per year. That explains why the crowds in this picture, even on a rainy night in late November.

Notre Dame Avant le Feu

Stairs to Ice

When winter is temporarily interrupted (as it is today in Northern New York) by a sudden thaw and double aliquot of rain, the ice on the Grasse River breaks up and clusters around the rocks and islands. This path in Canton, New York has been rendered impassable by a pack of rogue ice forced between the two sets of stairs by the high water.

Stairs to Ice

South to the Adirondacks

After a day of rain, the clouds peeled back around sunset to reveal the foothills of the Adirondacks to the south. This bucolic landscape (on the right side of the image) is actually the eastern reach of St. Lawrence University’s 1,000-acre campus.

South to the Adirondacks

Frozen Retreat

North Country temperatures abruptly rose from 20ºF to nearly 60ºF before suddenly dropping to -20ºF—all in under 36 hours. The result was rain that completely melted almost all snow, followed by freezing rain that deposited a layer of ice, followed by a new 12″ of snow to replace what came before.

In the midst of that chaos, I visited the Grasse River through the center of Canton to see it rising above its banks and jamming the shores with ice.

Frozen Retreat