Monday, January 21, 2013

What a difference the temperature makes!

Winter Diamonds
The week begun with the same frigid temperatures we have been having since Christmas. The whole community is sick and tired of it. And looking for the bright side has gotten harder even for those of us with cameras that can be lured out of our homes to record ice crystals on last summers dried grasses. Sun or no sun there is something depressing about dressing in multiple layers to the point you look like the characters on South Park. Or waiting until the day heats up to at least 10 F above before walking the dogs or starting your aging car so it does not wear out the starter or battery. But when we didn't get to that mark until noon I just wanted to go back to bed like a hibernating bear.

But the Arctic cold finally broke on Wednesday and my valley got above freezing for the first time in weeks. And I think it was Thursday the night did not fall below zero. It was the day I finally bought an installed a replacement heater in my living room. The heater I had not needed for three years. But when you are colder than some places in the Arctic and for an extended period you give in. I was beginning to think fondly of The Cremation of Sam McGee by Service.

Then like New Mexico can do so wonderfully the overdue January thaw arrived. Never thought I would look forward to mud.

Mud and thawing ice


Winter is not over by a long shot nor would we wish it. The forest still needs more snow to lessen the fire season this summer. The high country snows feed the rivers and lakes and reservoirs and aquifers. But spring snows have more moisture in them. It has been so very cold that the snow was powdery and did not even make ice well. And a friend reports that Elephant Butte Reservoir has closed all its boat docks because of how low the lake is. Eagle Nest Lake was too low for the New Years Day Arctic plunge. A stock tank had to be used.

Magique jumping for joy

Most of us who live here love the snow. We engage in a lot of fun winter sports even if it is just watching the dogs leap about in it. But when it is too cold to entertain the thought of going out the snow seems wasted. Magique, Mardi and I have been making up for lost time now that the days are in the 40's for a while. I want to do more snowshoeing with the next snow and more seasonal temps. But for now I am really liking the January thaw. And it can go on for the rest of January since it was so late this year, and so insanely cold before it arrived.


  1. I think you write extremely well and enjoy reading your posts, the more I read the better the feeling of getting to know you.

    Winter has always been the season I like the least. No snow where I live but the winds coming from Antartic sure cut to the bone. The lower part of the North Island and all of the South Island get the snow. I live further North in Auckland.

    1. Thanks for the compliment.

      It is the heat I dislike. Saps my energy. And while we have snow we have very moderate weather in the summer. So I put up with three months of snow. This year the extreme cold has been very uncharacteristic of here. Climate change.

  2. Climate change for sure. This is the first nearly real summer we have had in two years. It is still cold but sunny. Unfortunately the wind still insists on coming from the South Pole.
    I like warm but not hot. Like you, it saps my energy.

  3. I do not like the cold at all but then again I can live without the intense heat that sometime hits here. Over 95 degrees is uncomfortable unless you`re on the beach which is never in my case. I have forgotten what real cold is like as it`s over 20 years since I lived in such a climate. Actually I haven't because one never forgets bitter freezing weather when as you say, one just wants to hibernate. Splendid write Jacqui.


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