Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘feeling cold

Cool Morning

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Having noticed the outdoor temperature was in the 40s(F), I was already wearing a long-sleeve hoody sweatshirt when Delilah and I made our way down the big hill trail in the woods into the increasingly cooler air. I pulled the Buff® head gear that was around my neck up so it covered my nose. Having just climbed out of a warm bed, I wasn’t mentally prepared to face such cool air against my skin.

Evidence is mounting that I have lost my robust preference for dealing with cold temperatures over warmth.

The low-lying areas held a haze of water vapor that added a visual perception of a cool morning.

A vocal flock of geese flying in the classic “V” formation punctuated the underlying obvious sense that we are in the season that follows summer.

Some of the visible water vapor in the air was coming from the four exhaling horses. It seemed so cold that I felt a need to bend over and touch a couple of blades of grass to confirm the very white-looking dew wasn’t frozen.

Every time the seasons swing from one extreme to another I marvel over how our sense of the temperatures differs. What was feeling so cold to me this morning would feel almost tropical at the end of winter.

Dealing with the change to cold air is getting increasingly more challenging for me as I age. Time to bring out my obligatory fleece vest everyday wear fashion statement again.

It offsets my increasingly gray hair impeccably.



Written by johnwhays

September 11, 2022 at 9:50 am

Feels Colder

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We’re growing soft with all these above freezing days in winter. More than one person told me how cold it felt yesterday even though temperatures were in the upper twenties. That’s above average for this week in January.

It did feel cold to me, which just seems wrong. It’s as if our blood isn’t making the usual adjustments for winter with so many warm days.

Normally cold temperatures serve as the winter reference point such that we end up leaving jackets unzipped when it warms up to the 30s because it feels so warm.

The up and down toggle around the freezing point is messing with our snow cover. Cyndie gave me some pictures that look a little like the moonscape.

It was a result of the snow dropping off tree branches onto the ground below.

The snow gets soft during the day and the sun pushes down on any dark spots on the surface. Overnight, it freezes again to lock oddities in place. That keeps cycling until a new dump of fresh flakes smooths it all off and it starts all over again with a clean white coat.

Honestly, more snow seems to temper the cold. As long as there is fresh powder around, the chill seems less harsh. After everything melts down to a hard crust, the air seems to offer a more severe bite.

It’s a bad combination when our bodies remain calibrated to above-freezing winter temperatures.



Written by johnwhays

January 8, 2020 at 7:00 am

Confused Snake

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I forgot to mention last weekend, after we finished raking the front yard and playing with the chickens, I was about to go inside when I spotted this unlikely sight:

Sure, it was above freezing enough that we were able to rake up the leaves, but was it really warm enough to entice a snake to slither out and lay on the cold pavement? Not in the world I was familiar with, but apparently this little critter is just fine with temperatures hovering around the freezing point. The snake was moving a little slow, but luckily the chickens didn’t seem to notice its existence, so I didn’t have to witness any crazy unsettling nature scene play out.

Heck, there was also that fat, green caterpillar that one of the hens picked up right in front of me that day, so maybe the ground isn’t as cold yet as we thought it was. The air sure feels cold this time of year. With the slightest breeze, and air temperatures in the 30s(F), we have been feeling chilled to the bone because we haven’t fully acclimated yet for winter.

That’s frustrating, because the natural response to the start of cold weather is to bundle up excessively, but by the time we have walked Delilah around the perimeter and started doing horse chores, we get too hot. Then we have to wrestle out of all the extra layers.

The horses seem to be adjusting well enough. I think it helps to avoid putting blankets on them when cold temperatures first arrive, if that can be achieved with minimal stress, because then their bodies naturally respond with a thicker growth of winter hair. They are doing their part by finally becoming (after only 5-years {sarcasm}) comfortable enough with the sounds under the overhanging metal roof to stay under its protection from wind and wet.

I understand any auditory aversion they have with it. I was shocked at first by how much the sound of the slightest amount of precipitation is amplified to levels evoking high drama. It seems like it must really be coming down with intensity, but then stepping out into the open proves just the opposite.

It’s all relative, of course!

The forecast for the next week is currently offering more of the same variety of early winter. Some snow tonight, warmth near 40°(F) on Friday, and teens/twenties over the nights.

Maybe this will just confuse the snake further.

If I had my way, the legless masters of surprise would be long into their dormancy by now. I’m not a fan of the involuntary adrenaline jolt when suddenly startled by their presence just as I’m about to set foot where they happen to be hiding/sliding/sunning.




Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2018 at 7:00 am