African Garden + [winter]

Frigid Friday

I have been guilty of minimizing the cold weather woes of gardeners in warmer climates. I apologize for my insensitivity, and promise never to use terms like "wimp" again, or make comments such as "You think that's cold? You should come to Chicago in January." This change of heart occurred yesterday morning, when I was shocked to awaken to -2F/-19C. That's ice on my window.

I'm wearing two pairs of socks, leggings under my jeans and a wool sweater with a turtleneck underneath. That's in the house. A little over a week ago, it was 55F/13C and the low was above freezing. The human body (at least this human's body) has difficulty adapting to such sudden temperature shifts. This made me realize that colder than normal feels mighty cold regardless of what one's normal is. Hearing about the damage caused by the cold and snow in Texas last week (see, e.g., From My Corner of Katy, Digging, and Zanthan Gardens), I also realized that a plant killed by 28F/-2C temperatures is just as dead as one killed by -20F/-29C. So if you need to commiserate, I'll be happy to listen. I will be sympathetic. I will be understanding. I will virtually pat your hand. I will be shivering. Leave me a comment or a link to a post about your bitter experiences.

I don't know what happened, this was supposed to be an El Nino winter, which are warmer and drier than normal around here, but it sure doesn't feel like one. Imagine me (or Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby if you prefer) singing to the tune of White Christmas:

I'm dreaming of an El Nino winter, Just like the ones I used to know. Where the Pansies flowered under rain showers, and I didn't have to shovel any snow. hardly any snow
I'm dreaming of an El Nino winter, one where my down coat won't be seen. May your temperatures never be mean, and may this year's Christmas be green.