It is #$@&?%! cold out there!

On the one hand (the warm one, all gloved up and tucked into my fleece-lined pocket), a good stretch of arctic chill can make for some pretty impressive scenery.

On the other, though (the one I can’t feel because I had to take the glove off it to work my camera, or answer my phone, or blow my nose), it’s pretty miserable out there.

Hats off (but not really due to the very real, frostbite-induced threat of permanent disfigurement) to our essential outdoor workers – farmers, postal carriers, construction workers and that Amish buggy driver I saw clipping along highway 47 against a -30 windchill.

You make your way through these weather challenges with an astonishing level of good cheer. Me? I can only seem to muster six letters.


Yesterday my cellphone rang and I had to unzip three layers to get to it. Then, I tucked it under the two layers of scarves near my mouth to answer. (On the plus side, it stayed wedged in there while I walked, so I could tuck my poor naked hand back into a toasty pocket for a while.)

Sunday afternoon, I blinked to clear my vision and realized small icicles were hanging from my eye lids.

Why? Why do I live in a state where the air feels like sandpaper on my face?

Because it’s beautiful.

You’ll see the sun glint across acres and acres of pure, white glossy fields pillowed up against a red barn and you’ll know what I mean. Then, you’ll watch it set, casting jeweled colors on that same scene – citrine to garnet to ruby to rose quartz, to amethyst, to sapphire and you’ll think about how lucky you are to be standing right there at that moment.

I stood Saturday night aiming my camera at all that natural beauty and then…snapping as quickly as possible, yanking open the car door, jumping in, slamming the door shut, catching my breath for a few minutes and saying,

“It is #$@&?&% cold out there!”

I love the look of red barns against a blanket of undisturbed snow.
And then, when the sun starts to set behind the barn, all sorts of groovy colors come out.
I wanted to stay to get a really good shot of this full sunset palette, but I was also standing in the face of a very brisk wind. So, I snapped this one picture and hopped back into my running car to warm up. This is the best I could do. I still think Wisconsin in the winter can be very beautiful.
Like when the sun glints off the icy tree branches and they look like they’re dripping diamonds.
Or shadows dapple a path through the woods (mercifully blocked from the wind).
Vince removed his headwear for this shot, but I have no shame at all. Also, I think it was frozen to my hair.
Later, I spotted him perfectly framed by those frozen trees so I had to take a pic.
You can see the steam rising off the river in this picture, which is a pretty good indication of how cold it was outside. So cold that…
The river froze over completely in some areas. (The deer were far braver than I was. I stuck to the shore.)
I was a little worried about this Amish buggy heading into the wind and clipping along an icy road, but no one in the buggy seemed too fazed.

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