January Chill

– Posted in: Weather
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They say January is the coldest month of the year around here.

This morning when I got up it had dropped down to -22 degrees. (That is Fahrenheit folks.) It actually might have been a little colder than -22, but our digital outdoor thermometer doesn’t go any lower. It didn’t get much colder, however, because a short time later it came back up to -21.8. It is still -21.6. Yes, you have to love the precision of those digital thermometers. They tell you precisely how absoloutely freezing cold it is out there.

It is almost amazing how utterly arctic it can feel around here on cold mornings. Invariably, when it is a very cold morning it is also a clear morning. As the sun comes up the sky turns from dark to a chilly blue. The blue looks clear, cold, and weak. And when the sun comes up and touches the barren trees on the hillside, the sunlight looks weak, too. It seems as if the cold is the only thing that has strength, and that is a hidden biting strength. The world almost feels as if it is frozen in time.

From inside it can feel a bit cool to see how the storm windows can frost completely over. From inside can feel nice and cozy. But the furnace turning on and running what seems almost constantly is a reminder of exactly what is being kept at bay outside the house. If you step outside the full chill comes crashing against your body. Your heat is simply sucked away.

The weather is like arctic-lite. We have occassional nights of double-digit chill, but every day when the sun comes up the tempratures will crawl back above zero. It is just a brief taste of the arctic, reminding us of where we don’t want to live.

About the Author

At age fifteen, Rundy decided he wanted to write for his living. He is currently working on a novel, although it is not the novel he started at fifteen. When not working on the novel, he might be riding his bike, feeding his chickens, helping his neighbors, messing around with web design and computers in general, or writing on his blog, which discusses other topics in addition to gardening. USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 AHS Heat Zone: 3 Location: rural; Southern Tier of NY Geographic type: foothills of Appalachian Mountains Soil Type: acid clay Experience level: advanced beginner Particular interests: fruits, vegetables, major landscaping, chickens and other poultry

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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