Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's COLD Outside!

Living here in the midwest, temperatures can go a little crazy after the passage of an Arctic cold front. Much of the United States is suffering this bitter blast of cold so we are sharing in the misery and the cost.
Last night I noticed that the National Weather Service was "chasing the forecast" low. Early in the day they said +8. By bedtime it was +2. And when I woke up during the night they had lowered it to -2.

How cold did we get? -8! Actually, my two electronic display units both read -3.8 but I happened to be up at 2 a.m. to check the pipes and the very same display read -7. Go figure! When I read out the data collector, it showed a low of -8 at 3:16 a.m. and that agrees with what I saw just an hour earlier.
The trees have adhering to them feathers of frost and the picture above shows a maple on our south lawn festooned with white. This spot is where seeds would have hung in the fall. The feathers of ice are really quite substantial ... and lovely. It is a wholly different scene from last evening. The air has been wrung dry of moisture.

When I walked out to S. Clayton Road to pick up the Sunday newspaper, I enjoyed this view of the "old Shell farm" across from us (east). The trees in the background are feathery white and they provide a pleasant backdrop to the dilapidated barn. The cut soybean field lies buried in snow (well, just about 3").

And Pinehaven herself? She's warm and snug thanks to the heat pump. Of course at these temperatures the heat pump itself does little but calls upon the backup electrical heat for warmth. We have the house set at 68 (last winter we set it at 64) due to Dad being ill. We are spending far more money but the advantage is comfort and it something we won't forgo this year,

This is a view of our backyard. There isn't too much snow on the ground but our attention has turned upward to the lovely trees anyway. Later there will be a breeze, I suspect, and the feathers of ice will fall down like a snowstorm. As I type this at 10 a.m., the temperature has already risen to +14. So there is hope we'll save a few cents yet!
But who could give up this lovely view for a few cents?