Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Brutal January

Good Morning New Year

There is an old folklore about predicting long term weather. Some believe the first 12 days of January foretell the weather for each month of the year, while others say use the 12 days of Christmas, that is December 25 through January 5. Well, both interpretations missed the spot by a mile this past festive season. Christmas was actually a rather nice winter’s day. Cold, but sunny. And New Year’s Day was similar. But January, which supposedly is represented by either one of those days, depending on your interpretation of the old saying, was and still is anything but nice winter weather. Most of January was brutal. Especially the 5th, 6th and 7th. Thus, are we not going to have any form of summer this year?


It is 11:06 pm on a Monday night.

It could be any given Monday night in early January. It’s winter. Outside a layer of ice covered by a blanket of 3 inches of snow lay silently in the black night. The 15 mile per hour North wind has been blowing steadily the whole day. But the snow is not your usual soft, fluffy stuff that kids like to pick up and make snowballs from. No one is making snowballs with this snow.  The ice from below, the 15 mile wind and the teeth-shattering cold air have turned the snow into snap crackle and pop when walked on.

Animal watching through the window. Not much else to do.

It is -4 Fahrenheit /-20 Celcius outside according to the Skyscan weather station in my kitchen. And it can only go down from here. It tells me I could also be seeing a quarter moon, but not tonight. A thick wall of low clouds have waltzed in on the rhythm of the howling wind and settled over the gentle rolling hills of the bluegrass. More snow is imminent. Now add the wind-chill factor and suddenly it feels like -22 F / -30 C and the bone-crunching cold turns old bones into acute arthritis pain in joints you didn’t even know you had.

Deer came looking for food

Tonight is going to be Killer. Humans with inadequate heating, exposed animals on farms around here, sickly trees, and tender plants not hardy enough for this “polar vortex”, the latest buzz word in meteorology, that is flexing its muscles way out of its normal orbit. The polar Jetstream has shifted, again, (it happens nearly every winter, in some form or fashion) and brought the North Pole, on a nice day, down south to us. 

[Thanks, but no thanks.]

I was hoping to have the porch done before the end of January, but no such luck

I wrote about it several years ago. But this year the phenomenon is slightly different it seems. It’s pissed off! Most certainly the worst in my 17 years here. If you just have to go from car to house or office to car and being only briefly exposed to it is fine, however, having to go outside and work with water and feed to ensure the chickens survive in the coop it feels more like being on a different planet. Crunching snow under foot, icy winds creeping through every fissure of my coat’s down material and the intense cold and dry air on the exposed parts of my face brings tears to my eyes and freezes ones nose hair after barely a minute or so.

[This is probably how it feels at the North Pole.]

We have had it all this winter. Well, nearly all. Ice, rain, very strong damaging windstorms, far more snow than usual, and the coldest temperatures in more than 30 years.  The only weather phenomenon still missing is a white-out, a blizzard.

I’ll be glad to see  January’s backside. What will February bring...? It is usually our coldest month in winter so is the worst still coming?

 The pond on January 4, 2014

By January 26 is was totally frozen over and snowed in

[PS: We enjoyed glorious sunshine and a temperature into the high 50’s on the first day of February, just like the 1st day of January, alas, first, the rain, then the cold, again rain, which turned into ice, and then eventually into snow, returned on the 2nd day of February.]

 Make it while you have it

It is winter and I am not waiting with abated breath for better days to come. It will come by itself. When nature is ready for spring it will show itself. It has always done so in the past…

I suppose you could say my glass is half full.

 New Year's day evening. A last look at green grass.   


Anonymous said...

Die winter slaan hierdie jaar erg daar van jou kant van die groen ghoen. En jou foto's vertel die verhaal. Ek hoop dit lyk al beter, maar as ek so na die nuus kyk, lyk dit nie so nie.
In elk geval, dankie vir die lekker skrywe en foto's. Ek geniet dit altyd.

Unknown said...

Uiteindelik het ons die naweek weer begin bruin ipv wit gras sien.