We woke up this morning to a frozen sun, with actual temperatures in the mid-thirty below zero range. We are talking actual air temperatures here, not wind chill, which was in the obscene range. Record low temperatures date back to the 1870s and 1880s. These were the temperatures that August Hertwig endured in his 1875 circuit rider ministry in western Minnesota. Read about his winter travels in the book “God in A God-Forsaken Land.”
After a week of sub-zero temperatures we woke up today with the thermometer at minus 22 degrees (that’s actual air temperature.) Predictions for this coming week have us bottoming out at around 30 degrees below zero. Being out in this cold weather has us thinking about our extremities and how to keep them from freezing. We become very conscious of what we wear on our feet. Whether we are observing or participating in hockey, thinking about taking out the trash, or just staying indoors, we need protection from conditions intent upon defeating circulation in our extremities, especially dah feet.
Our pheasant hunting season ended on the last day of December. My hunting dog immediately filed for unemployment. He will enjoy leisurely days lying in the sun on his rug. Despite the end of the hunting season, the pheasants will face their most dangerous time of the year, trying to survive the snow, cold, and predators of a vicious Minnesota winter.
Gene R. Stark
A teacher, farmer, trapper, and greenhouse grower. He writes about the outdoors and the people and culture of rural America..