The Season Turns Seasonal

When we were small, our mother would very occasionally wake us on a winter morning with the words, “Look outside.” Oh, special! We wiped moisture off the window and our eyes fell on fresh winter snow.

It’s that day here.

Up in the hills where we live now we get more frequent snowfalls than we did in Town, but they still bring magic. I took a walk into the woods this afternoon. The first snow is unlike any other.

Snowshrooms in the woods

Here is where someone has been nibbling a mushroom. Deer? Rabbit?  They must have come before the snowfall, and left no tracks.

The henyard was a little startled.

Snowhens in their yard.

These girls haven’t seen snow before. I wonder if, when they woke up to it, they invited each other to look outside?

It’s unusual for temperatures here to drop right into the F20s from the mid-40s. It’s done that today, and the forecast promises to deliver mercury in the mid-teens. The sheep have each other to warm them inside their shed, and the llamas seem to make their own decisions about whether to shelter in their barn or to linger in the woods, but I put up a warming light for the hens. They’re not ready to face this without some aid.

Now comes the matter of human comfort. We’ve learned to be easy with the interior at F65. That’s not so hard; you make the adjustment fairly quickly. But this is going to be a winter we remember, I think. Those of you who have been following along will remember that we’re camping out, more or less, because the house is under construction. The studio workshop, where we’re sheltering during this, is uninsulated. It’s not uninsulated by design, just on account of the construction schedule on the house. We had to make the shift, and this is where we are. So: our woodstove will put about a 30-degree rise on the temperature outside. F25 outside: F55 inside. Next week: F18 outside. I’m not sure I want to think about this. But we have lots of clothing, lots of blankets, and lots of good tea. And we like each other, so, let’s see, if we huddle to share body warmth… 98.6 +98.6 = 197.2. That’s pretty warm. And I’m bound to put on a hotflash now and then and offer more than my share of BTUs.

Chances are we’ll lose our Kiwifruit crop in this freeze. The fruits are nearing maturity just now — still a bit hard and sour for use, but so close I’ve been sampling regularly, expecting that day of readiness. When the ice comes out of the air after this snap, I’ll find them thawed from the freeze, too soft, not at all what we hope for.

Kiwifruit on the vine

Still and all, it’s awfully pretty out.

Published in: on December 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You’ll do fine 🙂 We lived in an uninsulated “shack” for 15 years and, even though we are in Georgia, it gets cold. I remember the morning when the water in the toilet was frozen! I love our new house – I no longer have to wear gloves and a hat to bed!

    Not gonna do this for 15 years! No!


  2. If there were some warmth in NJ, I’d send it to you, but it’s cold and blechy. Stay warm!

    Thank you very kindly! We cheerfully accept all donations, even as rain checks (as it were…). I think it’s time to slip into some of those beautiful woolly socks!


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