Monday, November 22, 2010

Wind Chills

It was cold here today. We even had a somewhat thrilling snowstorm, which is most unusual around these parts, unless of course you're the kind of person who consults almanacs and pays attention to La Nina winter predictions. Then you wouldn't be surprised at all. You might even have taken your library books back early so there'd be no fish-tailing down the hill once the snow came on, because you can't really afford any more fines.

Sigh. Here, let's look at this rose instead. This rose is in my front garden. It's usually a very uncomplaining and low maintenance rose, blooming pinkly all summer despite the arid conditions I keep it in.
It looks rather defeated now, though, don't you think? I felt compelled to memorialize it. Here on the Wet Coast it's not unusual in the least to have roses blooming in November, but today I felt for this rose because it was Seriously Cold. There I was last week, picking the last of the raspberries. Today I was slithering down the driveway in the car, wondering why the heck I couldn't be one of those people who is more organized and less prone about accumulating fines because they never take their books back on time about their library borrowings.

I am, I freely admit, a total weeniepants when it comes to cold weather, but GADS it was cold here today. Right now it's minus 5 degrees C, with a wind chill of minus 16. Horrifically cold, if you ask me. I feel like that rose. Luckily the heat pump is functioning as it should and the plastic is still holding on the greenhouse. The cold frame plastic crumbled last night, oddly enough considering it was quite new (which reminds me of a sentence from Peter Rabbit - I have to fight the urge to add "with blue buttons"), and this morning saw me covering the top of it temporarily with a) a wool blanket, b) some more sheets of plastic, c) a tarp, and d) a thick cushion of straw.

Inside the greenhouse and cold frame I have old-fashioned Christmas lights strung up. I rather like this shot—
Aged Christmas Lights Acting Very Jane Austen Heroine-ishly
Despite The Frigid Temperatures

And although it was Horrifically Cold, the kids were desperate to go out walking in it, well, until we actually went out and they felt the wind. Then they kept repeating things like "Ugh, this wind is so cold" and "Why is the wind so cold?" and "That wind is bugging me" and "Do I have to wear my gloves?" (this last from FDPG who had inexplicably hot hands). I paused by the trestle bridge which our house overlooks to take that picture. You can't tell but the wind was vicious, whipping me and my fake fur coat into near shreds.
And here we are in the nearby bird sanctuary, with another atmospheric tree - this time a willow on the edge of a little creek.

When we came home I put out all the bacon fat/peanut butter blocks I had for the little birds. They spent the afternoon clustering on them: bushtits, juncos, sparrows, flickers, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, wrens. And when I took the thawed feeder out for the hummingbird he landed on my thumb. We both looked at each other in shock: me because I couldn't believe how calm he was and him no doubt because he's usually so bad-tempered he does nothing but buzz me when I'm anywhere near his feeder. We were both acting completely out of character, evidently.

Now I sit at my desk, listening to the wind whip round the house, smelling the bread as it bakes, and wondering if the cold frame is going to hold.


Michelle said...

That is one sad-looking rose. And what about the buds next to it?! They're probably looking at each other, saying, "we haven't got a chance. It's over before it's even begun. Kiss your rosy a** goodbye." Sigh.

sheila said...

LOL! They really have a pathetic look to them, don't they? You should see them this morning. I could snap those rosy a**es like a twig they are so brittle.

What about where you are? I heard you're getting a cold winter too?

Michelle said...

We've had quite a mild and sunny autumn, but cold weather and possibly snow are headed our way soon. It wouldn't be so bad if they cleared the stuff...but they just let it sit and turn to ice. There's no such thing as a plough here. We *may* trade in our car for a sled and some dogs.