Cold Spell in Portal

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Yesterday, it snowed lightly all day and never got above 33 degrees. Today, the sun came out to illuminate the frosting of snow on the cliffs, yet it remained quite chilly. My week here ends tomorrow morning, and I will go back to Tucson. 

A couple of days ago, I attended a meeting of the Portal Sewing Club in the local firehall. The club was hosting a lecture, and I was informed that the "whole town" would be there. The place was packed...for a lecture on ants in Brunei. It was potluck. 

Many biologists retire to this area because of the surfiet of biological forms of all sort. This retired professor is an internationally recognized scientist who studies the relationship between ants and plants. Her research has taken her all over the world.

In Brunei, she has seen the tiny country go from a relatively open society to a nation governed by sharia law. The change came about because the source of Brunei's great wealth, with for so long made its sultan the richest man in the world, is drying up. No longer can the leadership buy off the people. So, it must repress them. Brutally. 

As a woman, this has made research there difficult. 

It was a fascinating lecture followed up with intelligent questions from the mixture of people present, from long-time Portal residents, probably some ranchers, to teachers and professors. 

Because I had no food to offer, I left before the potluck. 

The cabin I have stayed in isn't made for winter weather, so the little propane heater rumbled all night trying to keep up. I like to sleep cold, so that didn't bother me. But oh, was the floor cold this morning! 

Birder couples have come and gone throughout the week. I am convinced that birding is something couples do to create commonality between themselves once the kids leave. Birds fill the empty nest. 

Some are competitive, which is just silly. I saw this, and you did not! I win! Yippee!

Goodie for you. 

But most are at least interesting people, so I have not been without human contact.