My last blog dealt with the mid-winter blues. I guess it's only fitting that this blog deals with the "OMG-what's going on?" Has anyone other than myself noticed the changes in this winter? It has been so cold that not only is it uncomfortable to be outside, but it's downright dangerous. While I enjoy the chilly and sometimes cold weather to get outside, I don't like it when the temperatures remain in the single digits for more than 4 or 5 days. That's what we have been experiencing. Interspersed with the cold is the higher than normal "warm up's" for a day or two. Crazy weather.
Here are some suggestions on what to do when the weather gets crazy like it has been;
1. Feed the wildlife. Just as the extra cold temperatures place a lot of stress on our bodies, so it also stresses our wildlife. If you've been saving up some food for the animals, now is the time to give it to them. Just filled my bird feeders, and will likely pick up some corn for the deer. Wild food sources are very limited this time of the year and having to "search" for food wastes a lot of energy by our wildlife.
2. Protect your animals. I only have a "lap dog", so he is comfortable inside the house. Actually, he hates the cold weather, but refuses to put on his sweater when he goes out. I have noticed he spends much less time "sniffing" around to see who has visited; he just gets his job done and back in the house. Check your animals, particularly those that stay outside. Extra straw or blankets for their beds will help keep them warm on these extremely cold nights.
3. Protect your vehicles and home. Pipes freeze and vehicles can have their batteries drained during cold weather. Cover outside spigots and water lines. Let one spigot inside "drip" throughout the cold nights. Don't overdo it if you need extra heat by overloading your electric or placing heaters close to combustible sources. Keep a small shovel and some "rock salt" in your vehicle to help in the event you get stuck. Also a good idea to check and refill windshield washer fluid as windshields can quickly get "gunked up" from slush and can limit visibility. Keep extra hats and pairs of gloves in the car. Find an ice scraper for your car (yes, they actually do sell them in the South). It's also a great idea to keep several packs of "hand and foot warmers" in your car. They can provide some relatively quick warm ups for cold hands; whether they are yours or some other poor soul not prepared for the cold.
4. Limit your outdoor activities and when you need to go out dress properly. Wear your clothes in layers and don't think for a moment that "just doing to the store" means it is okay to dress down. Use common sense when considering whether or not you even need to be on the road. Stay tuned in to your local weather; you never know what can happen and how long you might spend waiting to get going. Just reflect on what occurred in the Atlanta area recently with some folks spending up to 16 hours in their cars before being rescued.
While this is not my normal "blog topic", it is appropriate given the circumstances of the rare and extremely cold weather we have been experiencing and the changes in weather that can find you stuck in blowing snow and ice. Remember, you are an outdoorsman. And outdoorsmen are prepared and don't do things that could limit their ability to enjoy the great outdoors.
Hang on because one thing is certain; Spring will "eventually" get here.