This is the part of winter I do not look forward to seeing.
The month of February can produce hope and it can squash your dreams of warm weather like a mortar in a pistil.
Today our high temperature was in the high 30s. Know what that does to snow? It makes it melt, not all of the way gone but the process is starting. All of those streets that have been scraped clean of snow now have melting remainders of snow.
But then the cold air blows in. Cold air from the arctic, shifting the temperatures back to around zero and below. The windchill make the feel of the outdoors goes down even farther.
Wind whistling over the snow-covered prairie for hundreds of miles just gets colder the farther it travels. Yesterday’s slush is today’s ice patch just itching to trip you up.
I hate it.
The dog has no sense of slowing down when he sees that stuff. He very seldom slips or splats while on our walks. Storm like to dig in the snow when he smells something interesting in the hope the carcass might still be there for him.
I, on the other hand, must watch every step. Is the pavement clear or am I looking at black ice, that trick bit of ice that attempts to mimic asphalt? When the melt and freeze cycle gets here, there is only one thing to do.
Walk where it is crunchy. Unless the pavement is absolutely clear you can only walk where the snow beneath your feet make that delicious sound of crunching snow. That is the only way to know you are not hitting ice, that your legs are not going to fly out like a gymnast who did not go into a backflip with full force or conviction.
When it happens to me I can almost hear the comedy-movie soundtrack sound of a person falling with the air blowing out of their body followed by the thud sound. That is unless I get lucky enough to find a snow bank to break my fall.
My fear with the incoming deep freeze is that those banks that have broken my fall on occasion will now be rocks that I will bounce off should Storm decide he has to chase an ice block that looks like a cat or greet another dog that he has not been able to converse with in doggy language.
To me that means snarl and threaten to rip each other’s throat out until your person drags you far enough away from the other animal. That is when said dog goes into the whining stage, indicating they were only playing and he wants another chance.
In my head I think that I only need to get through February. Get through this month that will produce terrible cold and shocking thaws. I pulled out my Chia Herb Garden and made all four pots. Everyday it requires water. With any luck there will soon be some new greenery to give the air inside that fresh planting smell.
Another good thing to look forward to, it is the slow return of song birds. This week our family was enraptured by the female cardinal who visited our bird feeder several times, causing our youngest to call out whenever he sees her.
The female may be grey with a touch of red coloring. But she is marvelous to watch when ever she makes an appearance.
How is the winter falling away for you?