Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ground zero

photo of winter field and forest
© harrington
Somewhere in these trees are a number of holes filled by chickadees. Somewhere behind the trees are bedding areas for the local deer. I suspect both birds and deer are spending much of their time huddled in resting spots, conserving energy. Today the temperature briefly rose above zero for a few hours. It's now back to subzero readings. We humans seem hell bent to ignore this painfully, sometimes dangerously, cold spell. This would be a good time to renew your acquaintance with that book you've been meaning to read, to improve your skills at making a decent cup of hot chocolate, to settle down in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace (woodstove if you're more eco-conscious than romantic) and stay warm while you chill out inside. I missed the evening news but imagine that on one of the local stations, or maybe in Duluth, a news reporter threw a cup of hot water into the air and watched it freeze before it hit the ground (or snowbank). Do you ever wonder how the Anishinabe/Ojibwe, Lakota and other indigenous people made it through weather like this? At least they didn't have to deal with dead batteries or flat tires. But then, neither did they have AAA to help. (Maybe HHH, happy horse helper -- not until  the Europeans arrived ensteed. [Sorry, cold weather like this causes me brain burn without ice cream]) Where were we? I've read that their winter camps were often in the forest, which would reduce exposure to the wind. Mightn't we be better off these days if we re-learned to work with the seasons rather than dominating them?