Saturday, February 20, 2021

February Freeze

We are almost finished with the February Freeze! 

Here in North Louisiana, many have been without water for days.  Our friends Ricky and Teresa have been collecting snow to use to flush toilets. I wonder how long Texas will continue to be in crisis mode.  It is difficult to imagine how awful this week in Texas has been or how long it will take to recover.



Those of us in the South are unaccustomed to temps as low as 1 degree, actually even getting in the teens is rare, but at least our electric grid was mostly fine--nothing like the catastrophe in Texas.

A spark of joy for me has been the birds.  They were fighting over the feeders, so I was throwing out seed on the snow and watching the invasion of birds bobbing and tracking all over the garden.  All the usual suspects are present:  cardinals, sparrows, finches, thrush, chickadees, robins, doves.  

A special delight for me has been the red winged blackbirds.  We have only rare visits from the redwings over the years, and now there is no way to even count them; they cover the snow and the tree limbs.  They aren't bullies like the doves, but they do fuss on the feeders. So solemn in their appearance, especially in contrast to the snow, but when they fly, that flash of red and yellow on the wings makes me smile. 

The cats and I have been watching out the windows at the birds, looking out and enjoying the melee-- like one of those cat apps that people have on their phones or tablets to entertain bored felines.  Belle, Fee's office cat, is also present.  Since he's not going to the office, he had to bring her home and Belle is forced to visit her inferior fellows.  Edgrrr ignores her, but she and Stinker got into frequent hissing matches the first day or two when she went around investigating her new surroundings and grabbing window space.

At present, the yard is covered with snow which is covered with a slick of ice, and I can't get out to the feeders to refill them without risking a broken limb. I'll get to it this afternoon as things melt a bit, but early this morning we were having a new (for me) phenomenon:  freezing fog.  

Having to boil water before using it might be annoying if we weren't all so grateful to have water to boil.  Family and friends don't all have that privilege.  

It has been beautiful, dangerous, and in many places tragic.   

12 comments:

  1. Jenclair, my thoughts have been with all the people in the South experiencing this terrible climate crisis. I happy you have done better than some but still it has to be difficult. Glad the cats are happy:)

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    1. It is certainly unusual and makes us aware of some of the unexpected consequences of extreme weather. Friends are having a much worse time with no water and no time frame for certain about when the water will be back on. Hurricanes and tornadoes, we are familiar with, but this kind of cold for day after day is so unusual. This is why our local, state, and national representatives need to work together in the future to address effects of climate change. They need to do what they can to prepare and to have plans in place to efficiently address the possible problems from fires, floods, and other weather related disasters. I wish I could feel confident that both parties would work together because weather extremes are not going away.

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  2. Bird and cat watchings, sounds like a treasure of fun!
    Stay warm. Glad you are safe indoors

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    1. We are warming up now, but because our infrastructure isn't able to stand up to the cold, ice, closed roads, etc., it will continue to be a struggle for many. Thanks for the good thoughts!

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  3. I agree about the climate changes-I do hope things will get better soon for those suffering. It's devastating to watch it on TV and feel that there's so many who've lost their homes. Please stay safe on the snow and ice.

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    1. It has certainly been an eye-opening experience--especially in Texas. We've warmed up and the snow and ice have been melting, but many here and elsewhere are still with water. We are so grateful not to have experienced the lack of water.

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  4. I can just imagine snow being startling for you, and I hope things return to being manageable soon. At least you have the birds to entertain you. Keep warm!

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    1. :) The birds have been amusing and watching the cats watch the birds is even funnier. We are over the snow and ice and can see some of the garden and sidewalks again. From frigid back to warm winter --what a contrast!

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  5. What an insane week for Southerners! 1 degree? Seriously? That sounds more like Nebraska than Louisiana. I'm sure the birds were very happy to be fed! How odd to have red-winged black birds there, though. We used to see them in the fields and near cat tails in ponds, but never at our feeders. Poor things must have been super hungry. I'll bet the trees look beautiful as the freezing fog descends. Stay safe. Spring is right around the corner!

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    1. It was insane! I think it was five days before we got above freezing during the day. Yes, the red-wings are generally field and pasture birds. I've seen them for years, but only once or twice at our feeders, and yet, they continue to come, fewer in numbers now that it has warmed up. :)

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  6. It’s been so strange to see that part of the States get weather like that. I’m in Scotland and we haven’t had snow like that for a long time.

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    1. It is certainly uncommon for our area! The fact that is so rare is what made things so difficult, especially for Texas. Even now that it is nice and warm, broken water lines are still a problem for many people.

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