08 February 2012

Day eight of the freeze

If I were a really courageous and dedicated blogger, I'd be going out during the day to take pictures of châteaux, churches, and villages under the snow. Sorry. I'm just staying in and going out only to walk the dog.

Winter sunrise

Yesterday morning Callie wouldn't even go for a real walk. We hadn't gotten far from the house when she starting giving me her unmistakeable "can we go home now?" look. She started limping and stood in the now with one front paw up in the air, as if she was injured. I pried a chunk of ice out from between her pads and we turned back. She literally ran back home, joyfully.


Bertie has been spending a lot of time in the house. Callie still doesn't accept him, but we can keep her up in the loft and let Bertie come in an lie on a rug in front of the fire for most of the afternoon. He likes that. It's chilly down in the garage where he sleeps at night, but we've given him a pile of towels to sleep in and he seems fine.

The pond

It's not as cold this morning as it was yesterday, but it was a lot colder when I got up in the middle of the night. The overnight low was minus 9ºC, but now it's up to minus 6.5. And it's snowing. That's why it got "warmer" — cloud cover moved in, stopping the clear-sky radiation of residual warmth into the atmosphere.

The woodpile, or what's left of it

When this is all over, it will be interesting to see how many plants have been killed. I have some little trees in pots that I planned to plant in the ground this spring or next. I bet the roots have frozen solid. I'm wondering whether certain small plants that are already in the ground will survive. Oh well.

Will these pull through?

It's not snowing hard but we are having flurries. The weather report says they will continue through the day. I just looked out the window and it's actually snowing pretty hard right now.


  1. The plants may not survive in our garden. I thought last week I'd been prudent with the toille d'hiverage/horticultural fleece but I don't think it good enough.
    I can only hope the fish in our pond can last out. The water is not very deep and they must be hibernating in the dark and at the very bottom.
    Fun for the first day or so, but now getting a bit bored by all this Global(N.Europe)Warming.

  2. You should not worry for the “joubarbes” in the last photo. They’re not called Sempervivum [“éternel”] for nothing.

    As for the Opuntia humifusa, you should not worry either. That cactus has seen such kind of cold and maybe even worse in Arlington, Virginia, without any damage. It seems to do well here in the desert of SoCal, where it blooms in early April.

  3. Wow, that icicle photo is a really telling comment about the cold, now isn't it? Whew!

  4. Your new header photo is really beautiful. Are those the 'true' colours'? If they are, they are amazing. If not, Photoshop (and you) did a terrific job! Martine

  5. Well, your concerns about insects
    and other pests surviving a mild
    winter on into spring are over.

  6. You ARE a courageous and dedicated blogger, Ken! That sunrise photo is just what I needed to see this morning. Carry on.

    Glad to hear that those succulents are the Sempervivum variety, CHM;)

  7. Your new banner photo is beautiful, so striking. You and Walt stay warm!

  8. hang in there, Ken, do you have cabin fever yet? keep warm!

  9. whats the weather like now...just wondering if we should risk coming over from England for a week as planned on Saturday. We are booked to stay in Faverolles en berry.

  10. Cabin fever, yes. The weather is supposed to stay very cold until early next week. We've been having light snow -- flurries, really -- all day, with no accumulation. Driving on little country lanes around a place like Faverolles en Berry might not be so nice this coming weekend.

    Martine, those are true colors in the banner photo. I only cropped, rotated, and sharpened the image slightly. Really. :^)

  11. Thanks for showing the pond. I was wondering how it'd look frozen over. At least it's not all plants--there's still some water to freeze. :)

    I hope this breaks for you soon. I get cold just reading your blog and Walt's. Too much! I'm glad Callie and Bertie can at least coexist in the house; it's too cold for Bertie to be out or in the garage all the time. Glad there's a compromise.

    Hope the bread lady made it and you have enough food and wood to get you through.

  12. Hi Ginny, we are doing okay, but getting tired of this weather now. We hope to see the bread lady tomorrow -- we're out! She doesn't normally come around on Wedsnesdays.

    CHM, I'm wondering if those three or four aucuba plants I set out over by the fence will have survived this freeze. Unfortunately, I didn't cover them with leaves that might have protected them.

  13. As far as I know, Aucuba plants are hardy. Those I have in the yard in Paris have been in that location for as long as I can remember, at least since around 1930. They were moved from the larger garden when the Lycée used eminent domain. If your plants were settled last summer then they should survive.

  14. If it doesn't warm up soon, that wood pile will be gone.


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