et alia: “Is it cold enough for you?”

*Sigh*  If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, or a variation of it, in the past two days, I could give up my day job!  Remember all that autumnal splendor of October?  Yeah, well that’s a faded memory, pushed to the back of my brain by weeks of alternating snow and frigid cold.

In the bleak midwinter?

In the bleak midwinter?

The weather has been the topic on everybody’s lips lately – it’s really too bad the Packers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl – at least we could mix the conversation up a little!  Despite a maxi-meltdown on the part of Mini Me when she found out school had not been cancelled, yesterday was a pretty normal day…cold, but I don’t need to be outside much and I have a coat.  Around midday,  I received emails from both my kids’ schools that they would be off today due to the extreme cold – wind chill factors exceeding -35F were forecast, so this was not unexpected news.  Not a big deal for our family since they are able to fend for themselves at home for the day, and their dad is home anyway.

The real monkey wrench came next when I received the first text from my university’s newly installed SMS notification system.  Hurray!!!  I thought, we have finally entered the 21st century.  Then I read the text.  %#^#!&%$!*$!%*!!!  The institution has simply found a new technology with which to torment me.  The message relayed that due to the cold, classes would be cancelled in the morning and resume at 12:45.  Terrific.  I have two sections of the same class – one that meets in the morning and one in the afternoon.  It is imperative to my continued mental health that these two classes stay on the same schedule, so now I have to decide what I’m going to do to account for that.  Grumble, grumble, grumble…consultations with faculty friends results in extended grumbling…and so on.  My twin intro classes are both doing an online assignment for today as a result.  It remains to be seen how many will show up for the night class tonight…

This winter has been brutal for a lot of people.  Extreme temperatures and excessive snow are bad enough in regions equipped to deal with them (anything under six inches is just a nuisance here), but can be doubly treacherous in areas that are not.  I would rank myself among the people who over winter at this point, but that doesn’t mean that I am immune to its beauty.

Snow "waves" Source: fantasystock

Snow “waves”
Source: fantasystock

My commute to work takes me along about 30 miles of road cut through open farm fields with a lake in the distance to the west, and a sheltering ridge to the east.  This landscape, with prevailing northwesterly winds, produces incredible conditions for blowing snow which can make driving hazardous, but can also create some amazing natural art.  The image above is an example of the sort of waves, frozen in snow on the flat expanse of a field, that are wonderfully common right now.

Drifted snow

Drifted snow
Source: USA Today Media Gallery

Drifting snow is also beautifully sculptural in a sense.   In certain areas, the blowing snow catches in a particular way forming rolling waves and crevices that catch the light in varying patterns.  I saw all sorts of configurations as I drove today…it was brilliantly sunny, so the contrasting light and shadows and the sparkling qualities of the snow were out in full force.  Engrossed in the icy tableau, I further about how everything that is cold and frozen now was bursting with autumnal abundance just weeks ago, and about how all that fertile potential is still there, beneath the snow, just waiting to be awakened by the kiss of spring warmth.

You might have noticed that unlike my autumnal posts, I did not take my own pictures of the Winter Splendor around me.  I thought about getting out of the car to take some pictures myself, but then I remembered…it’s *insert alliterative expletive of choice here* out there!  (Incidently, during all of this deep, artistic thought about winter beauty, I “auto-piloted” through half of my route…)

It has to end sooner or later right?  Until then, bundle up Armitageworld!

Nice coat, but you'll probably need a hat... Photo by: Matt Holyoak for Project Magazine

Nice coat, but you’ll probably need a hat…
Photo by: Matt Holyoak for Project Magazine


33 comments on “et alia: “Is it cold enough for you?”

  1. Marie Astra says:

    Beautiful pictures!! Including the one of our man! Forget about the nice coat, look at those nice thighs! Great picture! 😀 Warmed me right up. And it’s cold here too, but not as cold as by you. More snow tonight but just a little. WHEN is it going to be spring already?? 😦

  2. guylty says:

    Those snow drifts are just stunning. However treacherous winter is – at least some of it affords a nice view. Mind you, don’t take your eyes of the road…
    Thanks for an interesting insight into the weather in your part of the States. The US is such a country of extremes, it seems to me. You are a hardy people, surviving all that 🙂

    • obscura says:

      They are…from the comfort of the heated car! I’m not much of a winter sports gal 🙂

      Yeah, it’s always a little alarming when you see a landmark and think…”Huh…I don’t really remember the last 20 minutes or so of driving!”

  3. From Virginia–we already have 2″ of snow in the last hour. We have no snow plows where we live, everyone advised to stay inside. I will play with my NEW DOD Dol Guldur Ambush Lego set with are you ready????? OOAK Beorn. He’s so cool!!!

  4. saraobsessed says:

    We are now up to 3 F in Chicago. Can’t see our sidewalk with the blown snow waves. Nice to know we are not alone. Be it weather or obsession with a certain Brit.

  5. So glad you warmed me up at the end! We’ve been going from wind chill advisory to lake effect snow advisory and back again. Seems like it’s been going on since Halloween.

    • obscura says:

      I know – lemme climb inside that coat too! I’m hoping we say goodbye to the snow sometime before April this year! It’s pretty, but it can go anytime now 🙂

  6. Meanwhile, where I am, we haven’t even had a winter yet and I’m already starting to see distinctly Springlike signs around me — this morning I noticed that my neighbor’s tree is in full flower. I’m not at all ready for it to start being hot again. If I could take some of the winter off your hands, I would do it gratefully.

  7. Servetus says:

    Thanks for the pix and the reminder that it’s also pretty. My FB feed has been pretty unhappy for the last five days …

    • obscura says:

      It is really pretty…We haven’t had it lately, I also love when all the trees are encased in frost (ice is pretty too, but it is so dangerous for the trees – and those below the trees when it falls off…)

      Yes, it’s unpleasant and inconvenient, but no more than that for most people here…I really felt acutely grateful when I dropped some donations off at a local homeless shelter yesterday. I can’t even imagine not having a place to just be warm at a time like this.

  8. katie70 says:

    Winter beauty from inside the house. Sorry to Mini Me about having school yesterday. Once again we have been off the past two days and about sick with it, no work , no pay. This Friday will be the first full check since December only to have 2 less days again next check. Mr. 70 took the days off as he is banged up from hitting his leg last week, maybe he needs to see the doctor. I did work on my homework and he proof read my essay for me and helped me make it better. Collage even shut down today but I am online so there are no days off.

    As for cold enough we have not seen _50 F yet and just think we still got the snowy months to go yet.

    • obscura says:

      Bite your tongue woman! I am calling a moratorium on future snow 😉

      • Servetus says:

        good luck with that 🙂

        • obscura says:

          I do sometimes overestimate my pull with Mother Nature 😉

          • katie70 says:

            One never knows but maybe we will have a very nice Easter in mid April, we talked about that today at work. Plus how many more snow days and what would be good make up school days. It was a nice day today, we just had our high at 9;05 pm of a balmy 21. Shopping was not so bad today. I think there is snow in the forecast too, just for the north, right.

  9. jazzbaby1 says:

    It’s currently -2 where I’m sitting so, to answer your question, YES!

  10. I love snow and pictures of snow, and especially that picture of what’s wrapped in a warm winter coat. I feel guilty that I live in a place where chilly scenes of winter never really take place, unless you are in the mountains or high desert – both an hour’s drive from where I live in sunny California. For those of you cold and struggling with the heat, I just hope that things improve for you soon.

  11. Leigh says:

    It’s beautiful, but treacherous when it gets this cold. Just hoping that you stay safe and warm. I want to snuggle inside that coat, too.

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