Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

On this, the day with the shortest hours of sun, winter begins. Let's celebrate!

By coincidence, I have been reading the book Cold, by Bill Streever. (I put the book on hold at the library months ago, finally got it last week.) In these pages, we learn of frogs and caterpillars that can freeze over-winter, thawing out fine in springtime; bugs and other animals that supercool themselves, dipping under 32 degrees F, sometimes well under, without freezing; 1816's The Year Without a Summer and The School Children's Bizzard of 1886 (so called because so many school children were frozen to death); and of course plenty of horrible stories of maniacs rushing towards the Poles. Robert F. Scott’s man Oates, frostbitten, starving, and knowing he was doomed, walked out of the camp with his quintessential British understatement: “I am just going outside and may be some time.” That didn't help Scott; with three others he would end dying in the cold a dozen miles from supplies.

On Sunday morning, full of the Commodore’s post-Chanukah laktes, the sound of snowshovels scrape-scrape-scraping on the sidewalk woke us up. We pulled the covers up over our heads. Later, we went to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was fantastic.

1 comment:

will said...

matthew-- thanks for leaving the comment on tugster. a quick glance thru a month of yr posts suggests we share an aesthetic: foto-driven and sparse text. and as to yr comment, enough with the santas indeed; i'm ogling with the cops. tugster