approaching zero

The min-max thermometer on the back patio says it got to half a degree below zero last night, and that it was four above when I started the coffee machine. (That’s usually about as cold as it gets here.) When we got back from our walk, it was almost eight. The sun warmed things up a bit on the walk, so it felt like ten, or even twelve.

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The forecast says it will be in the 50s this week, which makes me wonder why it couldn’t just be in the 50s now. Why do we have to share things with the arctic? Suppose I didn’t feel like sharing? Why am I even here, living in such a frigid, barren, windswept place? The coldest place in North America, right now, is my garage.

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There’s a package of flour tortillas in the freezer that’s been there for a while. The tortillas are covered in ice, and shatter when I touch them. What if I became like one of those tortillas, on our walk, and the dog just went home, waiting on the front step, while I just fell apart, piece by piece, out in the field, frozen and alone, until the coyotes came?

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So I thought I would share more of Cindy’s digital photographs, if I fail to return from our walk this afternoon, as the sun starts to set and the temperature plummets to some black, frozen, horrible degree that only a border collie would enjoy.  (It’s a balmy 20 degrees right now.) Otherwise the disks that hold the pictures would probably just be thrown away, like almost everything else. I bet that when you’re dragged away by coyotes, digital photographs contained on a disk that looks like any other disk just don’t have the same meaning that they did before.

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12 Responses to approaching zero

  1. Ricki Grady says:

    Now I have no excuse for avoiding a walk today. We’re a balmy 26 degrees. Your photos make it look worthwhile.

  2. Peter says:

    Cindy’s images sure warm up a brittle tortilla day! The picture of the dying plant under glass with Japanese Death Poems made me laugh out loud!

    • paridevita says:

      See the katydid in the jar? I asked her what happened to katydids in winter, and she said “They die”. So she rescued one, and kept it indoors for quite a while. It sat in the kitchen and made happy katydid noises in the middle of the night.

  3. OMG: the pix seem to be getting better and better: and your repartee is hilarious as usual: your garage is not as cold all that: remember, FRASER is the Ice Box of the Nation! That Zauschneria is really different. And the Agave and Peter Pan are scrumptious too! Thanks Bob!

    • paridevita says:

      These pictures are in a separate folder with no identification other than numbers. I think Cindy took most of these for herself.
      I hear that Fraser and International Falls, MN, have disagreements about who’s really the icebox. Fraser has a growing season of four days. My garage doesn’t even have a growing season, so it wins. I open up the freezer portion of the old ’50s Philco to warm up the place.

    • Susan ITPH says:

      I would like to note that a high mountain depression in Utah called Peter’s Sink holds the official record for second coldest recorded temp in the lower 48 at -69.3F. I interject this only because it was -5F here this morning and I’m crabby about it.

      • paridevita says:

        I understand completely, and I rationalize all this by saying to myself that if I lived in, say, California I would have to go back to work ….shudder….to pay for all the plants I’d be able to grow there.
        69 below. Almost as cold as my garage (no measurements have been taken because the mercury freezes solid). Maybell, Co, recorded an unofficial -61, and I hear there are places west of Yellowstone where it can get that cold, too.
        The first few years we were married, Cindy kept talking about moving back to Minnesota when I retired. At the same time, she used to talk about her dad warming the oil in the crankcase with a blow torch to get the car started. Not a selling point. So not a selling point.
        I would counter with afternoons spent in Balboa Beach, where my cousin rented a cottage; a sleepy little town with almost no one on the beach, the smell of the ocean, etc. And heat.

  4. Loree says:

    I have a bad habit of running outside in the cold (28, okay not as cold as your cold) to throw a towel over a plant that I remember might suffer, or to turn the heater on in the shade pavilion greenhouse, without putting on a coat. Sometimes just in flip flops. Last night it occurred to me Andrew had no idea where I’d gone, maybe he didn’t even realize I’d gone outside. What if I slipped and fell? How long would I lay there? How long til I got hypothermia? This is to say I understand your concerns about your walk.

    • paridevita says:

      I sometimes go out in a pair of slippers whose soles stick to the frozen ground.
      The new plants I should have covered, and didn’t ….. sigh. I’m surprised I don’t hear them pounding on the back door, Let me in.

  5. Pam says:

    The window photo is like a story within a story. Thanks for helping me look beyond this frigid spell, with Cindy’s beautiful pictures…I had to turn on my sunroom heater last night, which I’ve done only once before in 5 years!

    • paridevita says:

      At least isn’t twenty below, huh. I do feel sorry for the birds, and I think they’re using the roosting pockets I bought for them.
      Not to mention how sorry I feel for my plants …

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