Monday, January 13, 2014

How cold was it?

I know after the recent excursion of the polar vortex into much of the lower 48 that no one who experienced that will be much impressed with a photo history of our cold snap from early December.  We, however, were traumatized enough by December’s cold that we were thoroughly grateful not to be affected last week. 

If there was one thing I noticed last year during the winter it was that the temperature spread here is typically very narrow.  There were any number of days throughout the winter that the overnight low would be 45 and the daytime high just 50 or maybe 55.  This December, though, there was a stretch of ultra-cold temperatures, ending with several nights in the low teens. 


We were fascinated to watch as the water in the pond freeze, and froze some more, and froze even harder.


First the water farthest away from the waterfall.




The waterfall kept running the whole time, and the water around it froze in really amazing shapes.  Not just icicles, but also small ice balls.


After a couple of nights in the teens even the part of the pond closest to the waterfall had frozen solid enough for Rachel to stand on it.


It was fascinating to see how the little balls of ice built up around the running water as the cold spell stretched on.



After the first couple of days of below-freezing temperatures it occurred to me to check the hummingbird feeders.  (Oregon has hummingbirds year round and I am loving that.)  Sure enough, all three of them were frozen solid.  I brought them in and thawed them out several days in a row.


After a couple of mornings of collecting and thawing out the feeders it occurred to me that it would probably be easier to collect them every night, let them sit in the warm house overnight, and return them to their places in the morning.  That was much easier.


Here’s a little hummingbird who just tanked up at the feeder.  As you can see by the end of the cold spell it was both cold and very gray.  Which really seems unfair—it should be one or the other, but not both.


Here’s a picture that Rachel snapped with her ipod (which isn’t focusing very well) of a big chunk of ice when it all started to break up.  At that point it was still about 4” thick!


After a week of temperatures like these, we were very glad when the Arctic
Blast was over and we go our regular winter weather back!

weather highs


  1. Oh - I love the waterfall, ice balls!!! So much fun to see!

  2. Those ice balls! So fun. And I love the framing of that picture of the silhouetted bird. Gorgeous!