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January is a Test

January is our coldest month here in the Finger Lakes and after the snow storm that we had on January 17 and the ensuing single digit temperatures, it looks like we may be headed for some kind of record this year. Jeanette asks “how do the poor animals of the field and forests survive in the cold?”, and I answer her, “Some do and some don’t”. And I might add, January also seems to be a test on we humans too. The short days, lack of sun, and bitter cold makes us want to hibernate too. But we now know that this is not good for humans as we need social contact and exercise just to keep our bodies and minds functional.

January 17 Snow Storm

There are a few hardy folks who seem to take January as a challenge just to prove that they are hardy and tough. No amount of cold or freezing temperatures keeps the Buffalo Bills’ fans from attending the games. Fueled with some alcohol and hot spicy food out in the parking lot, they demonstrate their Team loyalty.  

It happened that the foot of snow which we received on January 17th fell on a national holiday, so there was no school for the children or no work for the adults. And wouldn’t you know, one of our neighbors who have small children took advantage of the snow, pulling the kids on their sleds on the deserted street with his 4-wheeler. They had a grand time and finally answered Jeanette’s question, “Why don’t kids get outside and play anymore?”

Playing in the Snow

The low single digit temperatures have begun to have its effect on the Canandaigua Lake. Each morning when it is near zero, there is cloud of water vapor rising from the lake, giving one the impression that the lake is like a warm tub of water. The cold air which has very little moisture in it begins to receive water from the Lake which is a warm 32 + degrees. Consequently, ice has now begun to form along the shores and at the North end where the water is shallow. The forming of ice on Canandaigua Lake brings out another group of cold weather worshipers who like to ice fish or test their skills at flying over the ice in an ice boat.  

Preparing to Ice Boat on Canandaigua Lake

None of these cold weather sports appeal to me. But due to the heavy snow fall, I did have to don my winter coat, ski goggles, and waterproof gloves and give the snow blower a workout. At first it was fun, but each time that darn snow plough came by and rolled another foot of heavy salt laced snow into my driveway, I lost my enthusiasm for being outside and I went inside to rest and warm up with a nice cup of hot coffee.

Be of good cheer. Spring is only 8 weeks away!

James Bupp