Tag Archives: cold

Lazy Snow Day

The start of spring semester always feels abrupt—winter term blending into spring term with no time to catch your breath.

Of course, catching your breath was a challenge today anyway. The low tonight should set a record, somewhere near 30 below. Last night, the low temperature itself was not quite as brutal, but the wind chill was more serious, making it feel like 55 degrees below zero. European readers, I don’t what that is in Celsius, but these Fahrenheit temperatures mean it was seriously cold.

Classes at the university where I teach are rarely cancelled, but they were today.

So, my first goal for the unexpected lazy day was to sleep in. And around 6 a.m., there I was, wide awake. I would have rather been wide asleep (I’m wide in both states), but I guess my body was primed to greet the new day. Goal one blown.

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I fixed waffles and sausage for breakfast, a second goal of the day. My wife and I agreed that they turned out very well—she had purchased some whole milk because it’s good for cooking things like waffles—so goal number two was well met.

Goal three was to set up my class grade books and enter grades. Goal half done—I did manage to set them up, but did not enter grades, yet. Still, setting up the books will take longer than entering an assignment, so it’s at least half a win.

Otherwise, it was mostly a quiet day. My main goal was to hunker down all day and avoid the outdoors, but near noon, my wife suggested trying the bubble machine, just to see what it would do in the cold, so a silly few minutes were spent outside.

Thus, the stay indoors all day goal was partly broken—although most of the day was spent inside. The day felt a little odd, an out-of-phase lazy day, a misplaced Saturday that was honestly more lazy than most Saturdays are, but maybe that’s good.

I was glad I had filled the birdfeeders yesterday—no way would I do it today. The birds looked like little tennis balls today, all puffed up. I was glad to have supplied them some calories, which I’m sure they needed. Mostly I was glad that I was looking at them through the windows of a warm house.

The big chill is tonight and then the dip of the polar air is done, at least for now. While I appreciate the break, I’ll appreciate the end of the vortex even more.


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The Glory of Daffodils in a Slow Spring

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart on MMU campus. This is the one image not from my morning walk with Zoe. Bleeding heart is a sadly apt flower-I have some but they aren't in bloom yet.

The bleeding heart is apt and reflects my mixed mood this week. One of my blog (and MMU) pals posted a rain photo on her Jenion blog earlier this week, and grey skies can lead to grey moods—let alone family tragedies.

But, let’s focus for a brief moment, even if there is a frost warning tonight, on the upside of a slow, cool spring. For one thing, despite frost tonight, there have not been the kind of bud-chilling colds that can kill flowers visiting our area of Iowa this year.

For another, for some reasons daffodils seem to be blooming forever. In one of my earlier blog posts I confidently predicted the sudden upcoming season—within days—when the crab apple trees bloom, the other trees leaf out and warm spring begins.


Daffodil in back garden by deck.

Yellow daffodil

I like other colors, but yellow is my favorite daffodil. Recent rain has kicked up some mud, this is a dirty daffodil, but like a grandkid who has been playing outside, the dirt doesn't keep it from being pretty.

More back garden daffodils

Still in the same garden, a variety of colors here.

Daffodils in side garden

Daffodils in side garden by the east fence.

It hasn’t happened. The redbud buds, the apple buds and the crab apple buds are there, but tighly closed, awaiting some sun and warmth, I suppose. Even my magnolia bush, even as others in Cedar Rapids are blooming and fading, is still quiet and on the verge of blooming—which it has been for weeks.

Pear tree

Pear tree is the first fruit tree to bloom.

The pear tree, however, has sprung to life. One advantage of cold, windy weather is that I can’t smell it very well, and if you are familiar with pear trees, you’ll understand what a good thing that is.

Anyway, the upside of a rainy, cold spring? Longer bloom time for pretty daffodils, and cloudy mornings with diffuse light that makes it easy to snap photos in the morning as you walk your dog. I’ll finish with some images of tulips and one magnolia picture–buds are so, so close, but holding back a bit in the early spring chill.

Tulip bud

Tulip ready to bloom. We are definitely going to plant more tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinth this fall.


Pink tulips by chimney.

Grape hyacinth

Need to plant more of these.

Pink hyacinth

I think this might have been my Easter plant.


Magnolia ready to bloom.

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