It is cold in north Alabama.
I mean, it’s February, so it’s usually cold, but this is different. Different because, well, it’s really cold–temps in the single digits last night–and it’s cold in a lot of places that don’t normally see this kind of Arctic air. The Gulf Coast, Texas, Northern Mexico, for goodness’ sake: It’s cold out there!
In addition to today’s cold, yesterday was an unusual weather day all the way around. It started at around 32 degrees, and it stayed there all day, varying no more than about 2 or 3 degrees. In addition, precipitation fell most of the day. That meant we moved from rain to snow to sleet to freezing rain a few different times. The result: We woke up this morning to a solid quarter-inch of ice coating everything and a thin layer of snow on the ground.
This afternoon, after sitting for six hours in front of a computer (school was cancelled, but just my luck: I had a virtual training session with an instructor who’s from a warm place), I had to get outside. I wanted to be jarred back to life, so I didn’t dress too warmly; just a coat and a pair of gloves. My walk in the neighborhood, as brief as it was, was wonderful. Traffic was non-existent due to road conditions, and things were strangely quiet.
I could hear the trees swaying in the breeze. I didn’t hear ice falling; rather, I heard it moving…frozen sheaths around blades of wood that were only snuggly encased. It was a strange sound to hear–one I’ve only rarely heard throughout my life lived mostly in cold climates.
It’s beautiful, but I won’t be sorry to see it go. This is the deep south, and I want to put my coat back in the closet for the year. Soon, I hope.
Fun fact: as I’m writing this, it’s ten degrees warmer in Anchorage, Alaska (26 degrees) than it is in Toney, Alabama (16 degrees). What’s up with that?