On Monday morning, I opened our front door and was shocked to discover that my eyeballs didn’t immediately freeze inside their sockets. It was blissfully not windy for the first time in many days, and — dare I say it — it actually felt… warm.
I climbed into my car and started the ignition. That’s when the temperature gauge flashed on.
Yes. 8 degrees.
8 degrees feels warm.
I (obviously) was well aware of how horrendous this winter has been before that moment. But the realization that a single digit temperature felt nice still shocked and somewhat horrified me.
I get annoyed when people complain about the weather. We live in a climate with seasons, and those seasons have extremes, and that’s what makes this region so lovely. Every season is a different experience, and I like to celebrate them all.
That said, I have celebrated enough winter this year. Even my cold-weather-loving brother is starting to complain — though that may something to do with the fact that his household chore is to get up in the middle of the night and add wood to the stove so he and Liz and the dogs don’t freeze to death. An average winter night has him up a couple of times — this winter has been so bad that he’s actually curled up and slept next to the stove, his pile of wood within arm’s reach, so he can roll over every hour and stuff another log in the fire.
This winter has been so bad that my warm-blooded hubby — whose ideal temperature range is 77-110 degrees — has actually mentioned on several occasions that our rare 30-degree day feels tropical.
Enough, Mother Nature! You win!
But alas, winter is not over.
The National Weather Service posted this photo to their Facebook page a few days ago. It’s stunning because if you don’t know where to look, you can’t find all of the Finger Lakes. They are completely covered in ice. )Lake Ontario (at the top) has significant ice cover, too – it’s the only Great Lake that hasn’t yet frozen completely.)
That blue squiggle in the middle on the right is Cayuga Lake – Ithaca is on the southern end of it. Both the southern and northern ends are covered in ice. Seneca Lake is the blue squiggle on the left, and apparently is filled with anti-freeze.
Here’s a clear weather version for comparison.
A few weeks ago, I snapped this photo at the state park a couple of miles from our house:
This is that same waterfall yesterday:
Taughannock in October:
And (this is the most disturbing to me), this is Lower Taughannock on a “normal” day:
And this is Lower Taughannock now:
An entire waterfall is buried under a blanket of snow and ice!
There’s so much ice that Taughannock’s creeks have overflowed and sent giant ice boulders into the picnic areas.
Want another crazy comparison? This is me, during the Cayuga Lake Triathlon a couple of years ago. See the bridge in the background, to the left? The path I’m on runs under it. Scott took this photo while standing on a rock wall.
I will admit that this insane winter has allowed me to experience a side of Ithaca I’ve never had a chance to see before, and that’s somewhat entertaining. However, I’m OK if we were to start to ease into warmer weather now. I’m ready for things to get back to normal.