Posted by: Jim E | February 1, 2011

Okay…Just One More Post About Winter…And Not Just Cold, Caustic…

Okay…no promises…but it is my hope that this will be the last post about winter…well, until next winter anyway…I say no promises because who knows, with the way this winter has gone…it may linger, (I say linger…l-i-n-g-e-r ) yes, it may linger for another few weeks or months…depending on where you live…ground hog or not, it just may go on for a while…

But as far as I am concerned, this is it…from now on (after this I mean) I will only talk about spring, warm weather and sunshine…all this with most of us in the midst of a large winter storm out there…here in Arkansas, we are on the warm side of the storm…lots of rain…and the snow just to the North and West of us…in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, etc…as it goes very rapidly to the Northeast…it is moving quickly…but leaving many with more snow than they would like…but we do have the wind…if this wind comes with snow…it could be a long couple of days for the middle part of the country…

Arkansas is getting rain…one of those rains the South is used to…1-2 or 3 inches of rain in a matter of 12 hours…we hardly ever got rain like that in Minnesota…once in a while we would have 3 inches come down…but not often…here though it happens often…we get the winds off the Gulf of Mexico…or a piece of a hurricane…and lots of rain…if you have never seen a storm drain along a curb in the South…that is an eye-opener, it has no grate over it…it is wide open, like a evil smiling mouth…the storm drains along the curb can swallow a small truck…man, they even scare me a bit…they look like the mouth of Satan himself…ready to devour anyone who ventures by…delivering whomever to the netherworld…did I say scary???…that is scary…and when it rains like today…and water runs down the street like a river…the storm drain is so large it just “takes it in” without a problem, one big glup…I just stay away from them with my car…they are ominous at best…

But today the wind came along with the storm…bringing with it all the cold from up North…Minnesota is in the single digits today…windchill’s are below zero…not for the faint of heart…but here in Little Rock…not so cold…it will drop to the 30’s and maybe 20’s tonight…but no snow and though it is colder than usual…things will get better with after a few days of this…I think it was last week…it was in the 70’s…not bad for the last of January…

But I do remember cold…in all my years in Minnesota…I never worried whether we would get cold weather or not…it was just there…it was just how much and how long…I remember one time I was traveling in Southern Minnesota…it was one of those very cold nights…I really don’t know what I was doing there or where I was going…but it was cold…20 or 30 below…there was little windchill, because there was no wind…it was so still and so cold…and on those kind of nights on the prairie, it is so clear…kind of like the difference between regular and HD television…crystal clear…the moon was out full…like you could touch it…we had to stop and look just so we would remember…so beautiful…the colors were subdued blues and grays…the white of the snow was vivid in that moonlit night…almost other worldly…off in the distance, were farm houses…sprinkled out across the fields…and for those of you who understand this…there were bunches of trees, that act as windbreaks, surrounding those houses, barns and outbuildings…and those scenes dotted the landscape with smoke, drawing a straight line up from the chimneys…with no wind to bother them…those lines went up beyond our ability to see their end…the leafless trees casting their shadows on the snow…it was a picture worth remembering…and with the lights from the houses glittering through the trees…wow…

And the cold…so cold…I just read some lines from the “Minnesota Conservation Volunteer” this week that remind me of that night…”At 29 below zero, the air wasn’t merely cold. It was caustic.”…”So cold my lungs hurt to breathe…So cold my eyes watered and my tears…froze to my cheeks”…and if we had been on a prairie lake that night, we could have hear the ice crack…such an eerie sound…the sound of ice cracking is as misplaced as I suppose an earthquake might sound…for sure it is disconcerting…and though some might doubt it…ice does certainly crack on a lake in that kind of cold…I really don’t know why…but I suppose it is the contracting of the ice…all I know is I have heard and felt them a few times…all in all, that was a beautiful, unforgettable night…

Those nights are not unusual in Minnesota…I guess I miss them at times…they have a beauty all their own…and I love the memories…the pictures in my mind…

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Responses

  1. nice site. love the winter pic….Awesome stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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