late last night before bed i was adjusting the gopro to take a scheduled time lapse of the snowstorm. i set the camera to start at 2:30am. i came out of the bedroom just to check, i saw that the camera had turned on, but it wasn't recording. so i did a manual record, 5s interval, 4K.

overnight snow are always a surprise, you wake up in the morning and the landscape has been magically transformed. not only is the landscape blanketed in white, but the snow also dampens sounds so there's a quietness to everything. couldn't quite tell how much snow we got, around 6" it seems. it was a wise decision to put away the motorcycle yesterday, no way could i ride in these conditions, and with subsequent freezing, the riding season is definitely over.

by the time i woke up, my upstairs neighbors had already shoveled the sidewalk even though it was still snowing. the bulk of the snow would stop by noontime, but will continue to flurry until late afternoon. i watched as neighbors one by one came out of their house to shovel their sidewalk, the sound of shovels scraping the pavement a common sound. i saw my neighbor jen shoveling our sidewalk for some reason, and then later my other neighbor miora doing the same.

my plan was to head over to my parents' place to clear the snow from the solar panels. they closed the cafe today due to the snow, they figured not many customers would be out anyway. i made some lunch first, including squeezing 5 large navel oranges to get some fresh orange juice for my mother (i got these for her last week, was going to get her some fresh orange juice for her birthday but i forgot). i ate while watching the news.

afterwards i started getting ready. my original plan was to take the bus out from harvard square, give me a change to get some snow photos while i was at it, but right before i was about to leave, my mother called and said my father would come and give me a ride. he got here around 1:30pm.

as soon as i arrived in belmont, i was in the backyard, getting ready to clear the snow from the solar panels. i changed into a different jacket because i knew i'd get wet. it was just a windbreaker, but luckily i already felt pretty warm, i just needed it to keep me dry. i wore latex-coated gardening gloves. i tried attaching the gopro camera to the conduit pipe coming down from the panels, but the selfie stick i had was nowhere long enough for me to get enough clearance to see all the panels. so instead i mounted the gopro to the platform ladder to shoot a time lapse video. i was going to set it to wide lens, but that was actually too wide; instead i set the lens to linear (1080p 1s interval).

i started on the right side of the house first before my father came out to help. those handful of panels are the easiest to clean. they dumped a pile of snow on the backyard stairs and i shoveled before continuing.

i moved onto the sunroom panels. at first it seemed daunting, there was just too much snow for me to rake it all off with the foam brush. my father - who was removing the snow from the bottom of the snowroom - suggested i push the snow instead of pulling it off. that made it easier to clean, and what i probably done in the past, i just must've forgotten. i first extended the roof rake pole and pushed the snow off of the farthest (west) side of the sunroom; after i did that, i either continued pushing the snow off on my closest side (east) or simply pulled it off towards me.

with the snow on the sunroom panels all cleared (it wasn't 100% free of snow, but what was left would hopefully melt tomorrow when the sun comes out), i then moved the ladder and worked on the few of panels above the sunroom. the last spot was moving the ladder to the western side of the sunroom, where i cleared the snow from the main room followed the handful of panels above the sunroom.

i found a yardstick and used it to get an accurate measurement of how much snow fell in belmont: a little over 8". so actually more snow than i expected. i wanted to also check on my daikon radishes, but the row cover was buried in snow that we pulled from the roof.

close to 4pm, my mother finished making a stew that she used some christmas ham for additional flavor. there was also tofu and cabbage and chinese meatballs.

approaching nightfall, the snow had finally stopped flurrying. i took the opportunity to go into the backyard and fly my drone. instead of launching from my usual platform (which was covered in snow), i pulled out my collapsible launch pad and pinned it to the ground. while i was ascending, i spotted another drone flying below me. it wasn't very high - only about 100ft - and large enough that i could see it very clearly. it wasn't a mini, more like a mavic series. so there's definitely somebody else in the neighborhood who has a drone. it must have avoidance sensors to be flying so low, i usually ascend to 400ft because i know i won't hit any trees or powerlines from that height.

the twilight hours after a snowstorm is a magical time for drone flying. the landscape is covered in white, the only illumination from street lights and houses. being just a few weeks removed from the holidays, a lot of homes also had their christmas lights out. the wet, salted streets reflected traffic lights, so scanning the landscape, you'd find shiny spots of red and green.

because it was dark, coming in for a landing was a little difficult. i tried to hit the launch pad, but at the last minute i noticed it was off-centered, so i tried to adjust, and it hit the snow bank and turned flipped upside down and crashed. nothing was broken, but there was snow inside the drone, which i cleaned up the best i could.

we had more stew for dinner. we also ate some of the christmas ham i got just yesterday. my mother served it raw: even though it's pre-cooked, fresh out of the bag the ham had a mucilaginous coating which gave it a repulsive mouth feel. the best way to serve smoked christmas ham is to fry it in a pan, brings out all the flavors. my parents also made some bread with their electric baking pan.

after dinner my father gave me a ride back to cambridge.