Cold Slap

I stretch my fingers out to strike each key.  Feeling is slowly coming back to them and the skin threatens to crack again.  I’ve just come back inside.  Temperatures are dropping and will continue to do so after the sun sinks below the horizon.  My happy thoughts of spring are sinking with it.

There is almost another month left of winter, but it usually doesn’t get so bitter cold here in the Pacific Northwest.  I don’t like it.  Neither do the plants, which is why I was outside freezing my fingers off.  I read that if the temperature drops below 28 degrees for 5 hours straight, plants and particularly flowers can sustain damage.  There isn’t a blanket of snow to protect the plants this go around.  Not like this most recent Christmas-New Years when my yard was buried in the white stuff for a full week.  

A full week of snow is also not typical for the Pacific Northwest. At least not west of the Cascade Mountains. A few of my shrubs barely survived and right now they seem to be the equivalent of Covid Long Haulers. Their bodies ravaged from fighting the cold. Will they make it or will they succumb to the frost? I hope they will. Make it. I would like to see them blossom again. I would very much like everything to flourish again.

I used my break today to run to Lowe’s and purchase burlap for ice and snow protection for my plants. After logging out at the end of the day, I raced around putting the material over my Long Haulers. Most of my bulbs I planted in the fall have breached the soils surfaced in the last few weeks. And most of them are wearing a burlap coat now too. Plus a few of my prized Japanese Maples. Will my Daphne come back? Will my Sarcococca ever flower again? Will my Dark Star California Lilac rebound or pack it up and head home (as in compost – tickets to Cali are expensive right now). Will I get reported on my neighborhood Facebook page as the crazy lady covering her yard in burlap and garbage bags? I ran out of burlap. It was just ONE plant!! Time will tell…

Burlap…doesn’t look too cozy and a garbage bag so the neighbors have something to talk about.

At least my feathered friends should fare fairly well during this time.  Once the sun sets, I’ll venture back out to bring in two of my feeders.  The third feeder can stay outside since it’s a heated one.  I had ordered it after sticking maxi pad looking hand warmers to my glass feeders during the last cold slap.  Yes.  Slap.  A cold snap is what happens when it gets cold quickly.  A cold slap is what happens when you aren’t used to arctic weather and it slaps you silly.

I wasn’t the only one not prepared for the weather last time.  The mom and pop makers of my heated hummingbird feeder were not prepared for the onslaught of orders (presumably all from Western Washington).  It finally arrived from about a month after the snowmageddon of 2021/2022.  It was worth the wait though.  Just ask my little hummers.

They are outside with my soon-to-be-flowers and budding shrubs and mini trees.  Hopefully they got enough to eat to sustain their little bodies overnight.   As for me, I am inside and thankful for the heat.  I’ve used my remote to bring my gas fireplace to life.  It’s flames flicker and I wonder if a pattern will form if I stare long enough.  And I wonder how long I’ll need this fireplace to cheer me up before spring is here and the world comes alive again.

Until then…I dream of spring and the smell of flowers in the air.

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