Monday, December 14, 2009

in the deep, deep freeze

To say that it's been cold in western Canada would be an understatement. Click on the link to see a great picture. I'll wait.

We've had wind chills in the -40's and -50's for several days. As a reference, -40 is about the same in both Celsius and Fahrenheit measurement.

Here are a few ways to know that you are in extreme cold:

-Your exposed skin can freeze in less than 10 minutes.

-Vehicles can freeze solid outside. You have to plug in the block heater so that the car's innards are warm enough to start. Geoff's little Volkswagen Golf gave up the ghost after being outside on the driveway overnight in -50 temps. Dan and Geoff put the car in neutral to push it into the garage and had so much trouble that the next door neighbors came to help. Even with four guys pushing, they barely got it moving. In warm weather, Geoff can push it easily himself. I guess it got so cold that the wheels didn't want to turn, never mind the engine. That poor frozen little car had to sit in the garage all day and overnight to thaw enough to grudgingly start this morning.

-The dogs' feet get too cold to stand on to finish their business outside. I don't blame them. Thank goodness for indoor plumbing.

-The snow is freeze-dried and crunchy underfoot.

-There are little rainbows in the sky in the afternoon sun. They're called sundogs. We don't see them unless it's really cold.

-Even women look like they have beards if they're out for a while. The little, fine hairs on our faces get coated with frost.

-Late at night, when I take the dogs outside before going to bed, the silence is profound and palpable. When the weather is warm, it is never silent; there are insect and bird noises, and the rustle of wind in the leaves of the trees. I don't think you can understand silence unless you are outside in the cold at night. It's very beautiful.

-Ice fog. Exhaust from traffic becomes a visibility issue when roads are busy.

-Away from traffic, in the wee hours, the air that fills my lungs seems very clean. Any particulates in the air have frozen and settled.

-There's always at least one little kid on every playground that discovers that licking frosty play equipment is a mistake. FYI, pulling away from the metal is a big mistake. Pouring warm water on the poor tongue frees it and keeps skin on said tongue.

In warmer news...
the lovely merino that arrived in today's mail. It's Traditions, the November club fiber from BeeMiceElf. So beautiful, as each shipment from Laurs' club always is! I made sure to renew my club membership as soon as possible.


Lynn said...

Ok that is an AMAZING picture!!! Thanks for listing those facts. Facts that I will never NEVER need to know! LOL Hurricane season never seemed so stress free!

Jody said...

I am sorry to hear you guys are still suffering from the extreme cold! I hear on the Weather Network that some of that cold is working it's way east towards us Ontario folks:(

Anonymous said...

on "Silence" - so true. indescribable. I have taken to walking more if it is close at all. My church is 1 km away, which is a nice 7 walk for me. I have grown to really like it... if the wind is down and you are dressed appropriately! There really is no cleaner air on earth!

on "dog's outside", I have a min pin and he has taken to only walking on 2 or 3 legs at a time. You can tell it hurts his little paws! I have resorted to taking him in the van on errand trips just so he can have a "sniff around" it's just too cold outside for him.