The Mixed Precipitation We Call Winter

Birds in Particular
Halle O’Falvey
halleofalvey@gmail.com

COVID fatigue and politics—as well as Basal cell carcinoma—have been kicking my butt this winter. Even still, I have a wee bit of inspiration left within me. I look forward to writing you each month. It keeps me going. As well as a walk.

Our winter seasons are changing, the ‘January Thaw’ was early this year. We had 39 degrees and rain on January 13th. Even so, this month, we’ve had spectacular black ice for rink and lake skating.  I was up in Ely, MN for the month of November, my son Myles and I hiked a lot with very little snow cover. We went to the South Kawashiwi River to skate. He brought along his long arm axe, I wasn’t sure why. Then I saw the axe go down on the ice every few steps. We were good to go.

As for our metro snowfall, The Farmers’ Almanac prediction for our region could not compete with the concrete and steel urban landscape (and its “heat island” effects) in the Twin Cities. Most of the snowfall occurred North or South of us. Even the wholesome wooly bear caterpillar, said to have been a salient predictor since its controversial hypnosis in the winter of 1948, struggled to make sense of this winter. The black and brown segmented creature could not decide between indicating a mild or a harsh winter this season.  Eventually, mild was the word. Unpredictability incurred.

And then there was….snowga! On January 16, at Palace Playground, an instructor named Kristin led public outdoor yoga in snow pants, mittens, hats and boots. It was a bit windy as we came into child’s pose that early afternoon. I will take another class, because that is who we are here in the “Bold North.” (You can view photos of the outdoor yoga session and other courageous Minnesotans braving the elements here.)  We made snow angels during shavasana. We all need to continue to play.

This month’s activity is blowing bubbles. Water and soap transporting itself through air with the warm breath of humans. Get out there blowing when it is snowing.  If it’s below zero, the bubbles may freeze.

Make your own bubble solution with one cup of joy or dawn dish soap (they are the best) one gallon of warm water, two tablespoons of glycerin and two tablespoons of baking powder (NOT baking soda) gently stirring ingredients. This is the preferred bubble recipe of the Barron of Bubble, Larry Ripp: http://strib.mn/3sMGPwj

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