Saturday, January 4, 2014

Below Zero

It's 10 below zero on this beautiful, cloud-strewn morning. The birds at the bird feeder have fluffed their feathers so that they look like round balls instead of sleek birds. (And what wind chill do they feel when they fly through the already wind-chilled air?)

Minus ten delineates zone 4 from zone 5. If i buy plants that are hardy in zone 5, that means they'll survive down to -10 degrees. That's today.

I try to buy zone 4 plants that are hardy down to -20. Then i can be pretty sure they will survive the winter.

These very cold temperatures can also have an effect on invasives of all kinds, which have been creeping northward as our climate warms. Lyme ticks are not as prevalent in the northern part of the state, which is mostly zone 4, but also zone 3, and even zone 2 on the mountain tops.

Tree pests such as the hemlock wooly adelgid, which will eventually wipe out our hemlock tree population, can't survive below -10. But we need several days of -10, and only this one is predicted.

We try to knock out our own bad habits by giving them the cold shoulder, but this cold-heartedness only puts them into the deep freeze of repression.

Warmth is the remedy. Feel kindness for yourself and for the bad habit.
I love myself as i am.... (Fill in the blank with the name of your bad habit.)
I love myself as i am, impatient.
I love myself as i am, cold-hearted.
I love myself as i am, feeling unloveable.

Morning sun is streaming into our passive solar house and warming us up on this wind-chilly day.

Photo from

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