Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter has Arrived

Winter seemed to finally arrive on Saturday night with freezing rain that gradually changed to snow, and we woke up to ice droplets and a fine dusting of snow where it stuck to the ice.  The temperature plunged to well below freezing, and it has stayed that way.  As I write this, the newest storm, brought by that damaging Texas low, has begun outside and I'm starting to hear that tinkling sound that highlights the freezing rain again.

It wasn't a heavy freezing rain, but ice droplets decorate all the branches, and they're still there today.

The ice came first, and then a very light bit of snow got stuck on top.

Some of the dead plant stalks in the garden created some interesting patterns!

The pine branches on the other side of the house were so weighed down that they blocked the path our grandson had been chasing me down just the day before.

These two pictures are an interesting contrast, photographically.  The one above was taken with the brightest part of the sky behind me, and the one below looking into the brighter side of the sky.  The camera did all the rest, trying to close down the bright light below so it almost becomes black and white, even though it isn't.  I don't think I even moved, I just turned around.


The snow stuck to the grass in interesting patterns.

And really highlighted our iron sunny face sitting on the big boulder out the window.

****

The temperature stayed down about -8°C all day, but there was a strong easterly breeze that made the windchill considerably worse.  I find I adjust the winter clothes to cope with the temperature and wind.  Amy, from Australia, asked in yesterday's comments,how cold does it get here.  Well, it will get a lot colder than this.  With several years living here I've now become accustomed to the changes.  Shorts and T-shirts are long gone, likewise the long sleeves of fall, and the light fall jackets.  I bought a warmer fall jacket that will do to about freezing, but it's in the closet now too.  With below freezing out comes the serious winter coat.  I expect it will be about -10 or -15C (5 to 15F) most of the winter, but it typically gets down to below -30°C (- 22°F) for at least a week.

I've got a range of gloves and mitts (and hats) to use as the temperature goes down - from lightweight cloth gloves (now put away), through 'normal' gloves and then warm fluffy inside deer hide gloves (new this Christmas) which will do for most conditions.  But then there are the big ski gloves, and if really necessary the moosehide mitts that come out on the really cold days.  The pants change too, from ordinary to lined (several weeks ago), and then covered in outer wind breakers, and finally the longies underneath.  My challenge is always keeping my face from freezing - since I wear glasses, covering my face at all means my glasses steam up and I can't see where I'm going!  So at least a few square inches of bare skin stays out in the cold stoically, and I try to forget how cold it is!

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24 comments:

  1. Congrats for having the page hit milestone. I liked the barn post. Also, it was bound to happen. Winter in the north east.

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  2. Congrats for having the page hit milestone. I liked the barn post. Also, it was bound to happen. Winter in the north east.

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  3. Although it's treacherous to drive in, freezing rain sure makes pretty patterns on the vegetation!

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  4. Pictures 5, 6 and 7 are just stunning, I love photo opportunies like this. I always say I love winter and snow, but we don't ever get low temperatures here, like you do there. Perhaps if it got that cold, I may not love it as much!! But I am prepare with plenty of warm knitted hats ;)

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  5. When winter comes in on a nasty note it's kind of hard to take. I like you clothing description. We seem to get used to the cold and adjust our clothes to suit it.

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  6. Ah it does look very cold and frosty there!

    I find wool is a wonderful warm layer--I wear wool socks and sweaters when it is very cold and a wool scarf around my head and face.

    We've had snow on and off all month of December, and this week it has been very cold at night. I love sitting neasr our fireplace and staying warm. A little Christmas eggnog also helps! Happy and healthy New Year!

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  7. It's been so long I had forgot about that 'glasses steaming up' thing. I sure don't miss that along with a bunch of other winter stuff. Nice frosty Photos.

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  8. Glorious photos - I love how well defined the branches and stems are when there is freezing rain. Absolutely fantastic. Those are some long pine needles - ours are not nearly that long. I always marvel at how well people adjust and prepare for really cold weather. Having lived in Wisconsin and Kansas I remember how we bundled up our kids - out here in the Pacific Northwest you often see people in shorts (and heavy jackets) even on our chilly days - not me though - give me something warm and cozy - and hopefully waterproof. Loved the photos.

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  9. Your photos are both fascinating and beautiful. I really enjoyed the way your skillful photography captured these winter delights. I don't know that I could take the cold like that all winter. I once did when I lived in the mountains, but these days, I like a break in the cold in the winter. Thank goodness we do get those mild winter days here.

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  10. The fogged up glasses,some time ago I met a young man in the quad bike shop, and asked him how he managed with glasses and a full face helmet? He told me he buys his glasses online, with anti-mist/fog lenses, and they sounded so reasonable. Not a great choice of frames, but a great idea. Superb photos of icicles, hunker down, add that extra layer, and stock up on the good NZ merino gear.Do you wear a neck warmer and pull it up over your face sometimes?I have seen on the net ones made for skiers, with a shaped nose insert.

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  11. Freezing rain can bring us misery but your photos have shown us it's beauty.

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  12. Hello, your frosty images are beautiful. I love the sun face and the pretty pine branches. Great post.
    Happy Tuesday, enjoy your new week! I wish you all the best in 2016, Happy New Year!

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  13. Lovely to see your frosty images and to cool off from our intense heat - love that sunny face in frost!
    Wren x

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  14. The only good part about freezing rain is the fine pictures you captured. I liked your description of the change in clothing as winter progresses. It rarely, if ever, gets that cold here, but when we go into the mountains for a snowshoe trip in the winter, we have to dress really warm! :-)

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  15. It is so beautiful in it stark contrast to life. People who travel these days are finding their lives arrested by good ol' Mother Nature once again. Good to see such frosty loveliness.

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  16. The ice made for beautiful photos. I like the second one best.

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  17. The freezing rain really does make for beautiful shots, as treacherous and damaging as it can be. The storm's moved this way. We did get some freezing rain, but the majority of it is falling as snow at the moment.

    I get the same thing with sunglasses- one needs them at times to walk through a snowstorm, but it means not wrapping a scarf around the lower face.

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  18. It's just winter, isn't it? Today was quite a change. We've been digging out hats and mitt's too!

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  19. Pretty, pretty photos. Still not winter here although we had a bit of sleet before dawn -- can't wait for some snow and cold weather, please send some down our way soon.

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  20. Hi Furry!
    I keep hoping for some beautiful photo ops like these...but no such luck!
    These are fantastic....truly amazing....you are a genius!
    Hope your Christmas was Merry....and great wishes for 2016....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  21. The icy branches are gorgeous!

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