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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making a wrong turn toward strange times



A picture can be worth binders of words. I have only a few to add to what the thermometer said when I opened the front door this morning. The newspaper added emphasis.


I've been joking that when Lyn, Cat Bette and I left East Haddam, Connecticut, heading to Marietta, Georgia, last May we made a wrong turn and wound up in Wisconsin. Or Alaska. Or the Twilight Zone, where up is down and hot is cold.

Yesterday morning, for example, when the temperature was 23 here, it was 54 in the Nutmeg State I used to call home. That kind of inverted weather likely will become normal as climate changes keep on pushing.

Down here, big rains and unusually chilly temperatures in August, followed by the current bone-numbing, teeth-chattering, garden-smushing, finger-freezing, coffee-swilling cold inspires a bit of gallows humor: When we made that wrong turn we wound up in a place known as the Southern American Frozen Tropical Rain Forest. It has every weather, and you know it's wrong, but whadda you gonna do?


Recalling tales of the ill-fated Titanic, perhaps as we helplessly sink into oblivion, we'll cue the orchestra and pass the brandy.


33 comments:

  1. Lee, I love this! Yes, yesterday was a balmy 54 degrees. I dug up my parsnips to the sounds of rumbling thunder and a flash of lightning. Very strange indeed. But just so you feel better, the thermometer is registering a very cold 8.1 degrees this morning with a wind that makes your eyes water. Like you, my bees don't now up from down, hot from cold . . . I just hope they survive this crazy weather! Stay warm and cozy!

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    1. Janice of East Haddam, Connecticut, thanks much for letting me know I'm not alone on this cold, cold ship of upside weather. As soon as I do a walkabout, I'm rushing back in for another hot cuppa. Warmth on you too.

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  2. Hi Lee,
    I love your humorous way of looking at this problematic winter. My son just moved to North Carolina and I think he's feeling somewhat like you.

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    1. Alice, I appreciate your appreciation. I hope your son's being careful up there in the Carolina sector of the Twilight Zone.

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  3. That's cold. We hit a low of 20.8 last night so it's a bit warmer here. Sometimes San Antonio is colder than Anchorage or Boston and it's fun to note. The big difference is we will be in the 70s by Thursday and they don't have a chance of seeing that number for a long while.

    There will be a few losses in my garden I'm sure. Pass the Scotch....

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    1. We're all in the weird zone from time to time, aren't we. Even San Antonio and your fine garden, which I liken to paradise. As for the Scotch, you want it with or without – brrrrr – ice?

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  4. Ha... we just hurtled over the 0º mark for the first time in a couple of days. It is a whopping 2º Brrrrrr is all I can say to you. The only good thing about all this cold is that "they" are speculating that the Ash Borer will be killed. One can only hope this could come true. They are all around our part of the state. I cringe every time I see a green beetle near our Ash tree. Try to keep warm and don't float away in coffee. At least if you have enough brandy you won't care that it is cold. ;)

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    1. Dead borers are good borers, so you get a silver lining, encased in ice. I feel your Brrrrrr, and after all the coffee, I say, Glub.

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  5. The willows will feel right at home...their northern cousins are feeling the same chill.

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    1. Ahhh, Barbara, thanks to your sharing and mailing, I got those cuttings into the ground a few days before this deep – and I believe fleeting – freeze. Too, I hope the cuttings remember and use their 12 years and your fine care in Connecticut to survive weather they thought they'd left.

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  6. You can make mine w(h)ine-and lots of it! Nurseries are going to hopping this spring when everybody rushes out to replace all the plants they lost. On second thought, pass the scotch!

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    1. Execellent choice on the stronger drink, Sue. We'll need help forgetting the hurt put on our wallets.

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  7. Well, as someone who has never lived north of the southern border of Tennesee, I am past annoyed. We folk who come from here are just not equipped, physically or emotionally, for sub-zero wind chills. Strange days, indeed.

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    1. We're all in a race between adaptation and extreme frustration. Because the weather is more erratic than constant, this cold blast will go away for a while. I hope.

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  8. What a shock for you and your Georgia neighbors to see that single digit temp! Hope the brandy helped a little. Jim swears by Irish coffee in these troubling times.

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    1. I tell you, my cul de sac did feel like one of those episodes of Twilight Zone, where everyone had disappeared for some mysterious reason.

      Cheers! to Jim.

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  9. It went from 58 to 4 degrees F in the space of about 12 hours in Middle Tennessee, and the wind chill temperature was -11. By Saturday, it's supposed to get up to 60 degrees again here. Crazy weather!

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    1. These wild swings certainly are crazy-making. And to think, the traditionally *really* crazy spring weather in our region is yet to come.

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  10. Welcome to the club. It's 11 degrees in Philadelphia now. With the windchill it feels like one degree below zero. The city is recovering from 9 inches of snow last Thursday. Nothing like 60 degrees Sunday night and fog to clear the snow. We haven't had these types of temperatures in over 20 years even in the Northeast. And to think I was getting used to milder winters.

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    1. All those unusual extremes sure are enough to erase any complacency we might have. Instead, in life and weather we have to expect the unexpected. That's cold, isn't it.

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  11. I love your description of our weather as Southern American Frozen Tropical Rain Forest! That sums it up nicely. But as the old saying goes, if you don't like our weather, just hang around a few minutes, and it will surely change! Temps this weekend are predicted to be up in the 60's. I am anxious to get out to see if any of my plants went down with the Titanic!

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    1. That old saying is truer than ever, isn't it. I just did a walkabout, and the quick change (up to the 40s today) kept death out of my garden, so far. Good luck on yours.

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  12. -15 windchill yesterday and a forecasted high of 60 this weekend. Weirdness. Now pass the brandy because my loropetalums just might be going down!

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    1. Your concern about your loropetalums sent outside to check on mine. Fortunately Arctic air's one-night stand was not enough to do them in. Good luck with yours, and keep the brandy handy.

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  13. Very fun posting! Just north of Connecticut it has been very cold indeed.

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    1. Glad you like it, Nan. One thing's for sure: You can count on change, with temperatures up, down and all around.

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  14. I feel for you, being from Norway I know exactly how cold you guys have had it lately. My achy arthritic bones feel much more at home here in London these days, with 53F yesterday and today it was nice and spring like. We have had an awful lot of rain lately, a result of the weather you have had apparently, but it seems to be coming to an end for now, finally. I have been mainly watching my garden from my kitchen window for the last 3 weeks and only had a few days here and there outside. I hope the warmer weather is finding you and your garden soon too :-)

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    1. Seems we can all use a break, Helene. Those bones would be worse in severe cold, I reckon. At the same time, long periods of rain bring their own kind of problem: soggy spirits for some of us. Here's hoping yours ride high.

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  15. I think half of the country is experiencing this brutal, crazy weather. Our temperature hit 1 degree Tuesday morning. Makes me want to go back to Arizona. I can understand why so many Canadians came down to the Arizona desert every winter.

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    1. I can envision migration patterns changing like the winds as people pour into the places with more stable weather patterns, assuming there are any left.

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  16. That's the problem with the southern states. When it gets really cold once in a while, the plants - and people - and buildings - are neither prepared nor equipped. I guess you have arrived at the best solution: brandy.

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    1. It'll take a lot more of these quick hits to harden off the plants and the people. Unfortunately, a lot more may be in our future. Brandy stocks will rise like the seas.

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  17. whoa...I was in NYC for Hercules....it was pretty bad...but beautiful.....I hope you covered plants!!....yes it is ironic....haha...im glad to see the bottle still full...

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