Subboreal Sunday

Subboreal? What’s that?

Well, let’s break it down. Sub Boreal. Subarctic, roughly. But it’s usually used (to the extent it’s used, this moribund old word) to mean very cold. 

And it’s been very cold here for most of a week, and it’s going to remain very cold this week. Single digits, low double digits on the Fahrenheit scale; well below zero on Centigrade. (Celsius, yeah; what can we say, we’re so old, we still have radios calibrated in kilocycles and megacycles). The robust systems and upgraded windows and insulation of Hog Manor can barely keep up; instead of a shirtsleeve 70ºF, it’s a sweater 65 or so.

On the plus side, the snow which has fallen on most of these days and is supposed to keep falling in showers on all but one day of this week, remains a light and easily lifted powder because of the freeze. While at the same time the cold cuts through clothing and makes shoveling the stuff more unpleasant that nasty, wet, infarct-inducing slush would be.

Well, it’s been a very mild winter so far, and February is usually the worst of months here in coastal New England. If we get through these couple weeks, it should improve.

And it could be worse. We could be out in the weather. These are the times when stray dogs are not found until spring’s thaw reveals their wretched carcasses, mute evidence of their final suffering; Small Dog Mk II is only being rational when he refuses to chance the door and go outside (which means, naturally, that he picks a place to go inside, if you know what we mean, and we think you do).

A large flock of turkeys has cowered in our back garden for most of the last several days. It was over thirty birds, but we think it’s down to about 17 now. They are miserable; suffering; we’re also sighting them at night, which means they are not in their usual roosts. With the forecast for the coming week, it will only be the hardiest of the birds who survive to lay in the spring and hatch the next generation of poults.

Some small bird is nesting in the electrical box outside the office, which once hosted the power stuff for the original builder’s hot tub or spa. We hear the little scrabbles inside that cold steel box, we see the turkeys grimly making headway across a snowy lawn in blowing snow, and we marvel that this killing snow is the life-giving water of spring.

24 thoughts on “Subboreal Sunday

  1. Ken

    You should get those turkeys a sack of corn.
    Global warming is in full effect here in Georgia, high is forecast for 73 degrees today.

    1. Elaine

      Aaahhhhh!!! I am spending way too much time on WM. We are having Global Warming here in Alabama too, 60’s and 70’s. It’s nice but already looks like spring. I want some cold weather, but not like yours Hognose.

      1. jfre

        84 on the gulf coast in Houston. Got the AC going. Was going to load some 9mm in the garage but it is too warm already.

  2. Ti

    78 (25.5C) here(Denver, CO) on Friday. Good skiing up high. Climate change is runnin’ free.
    My folks put corn out on their spread too. Usually 3 or 4 “regulars” each year. After approx. 8 to 12 mo. of visits the clan changes.

  3. James

    I am working in Laconia right now and this snow is just a pain in the ass(falling as I type),the cold though keeps me smoking down(only outside) which is a bonus as I am looking to give it up.I always thought though January was the worst winter month,must be some”climate change”.As for 65,damn,you keep a warm home,only get that (by choice)when wood stove kicking,and as working/staying in customers home @ moment keep it at 60,fine for me.

  4. medic09

    Out here in the high desert our mild temps are supposed to turn to 20s and snow tonight. One of the hospitals we service a little north is already closed in with low ceiling, and it looks like the storms may ground us tonight and tomorrow.

    Aircraft is ready, gear has been checked and restocked, chart review done. Nap time.

  5. AlanH

    I learn so much of interest here that the least I can do is occasionally offer alternative definitions.
    The British have a different take on so many things, especially words. And, you get a vague insight into the Glamorgan uplands….

    Sub-ˈboreal, a.
    Also sub-Boreal.
    Pertaining to or designating a European climatic period that followed the Atlantic and preceded the Subatlantic. Also absol.

       1876 [see Arctic a. 3].    1935 Discovery July 198/2 The Atlantic period was followed by another drier, continental phase, the Subboreal, lasting from 2500 till 500 b.c.    1963 H. N. Savory in Foster & Alcock Culture & Environment iii. 27 Primitive man, at least under sub-Boreal climatic conditions, had a choice of two main routes which gave him relatively easy access to the Glamorgan uplands from the coastal area of settlement.    1975 J. G. Evans Environment Early Man Brit. Isles iv. 84 The sequence is overlain by peat of Atlantic and Sub-boreal age.

  6. Alan Ward

    +7C here at Edmonton, no real snow since last week. supposed to be above freezing for a week.
    Enjoy our usual winter weather. :-)

  7. Keith

    Here in NC on the south side of the house where the AC/heat pump is it’s 83F. Monday morning forecast low is supposed to be 36F. This spring-in-the-winter is going me to have to mow next week.

    Keep your powder dry, keep those who have no shelter in the colder areas in your prayer and your faith in God.

    1. John Distai

      It was a nice weekend in NC! Spent some time in the garage playing home gun smite (trying not to Bubba things), and sprayed finish on a new chair. I meant to get out for a bike ride, but the allure of using tools and home gun smiting was just too much to overcome.

  8. redc1c4

    mid-70’s here in my corner of The Valley: CAVU skies, breeze out of the N/NE… rained fryday, thought about it yesterday, then, apparently, nothing more until late next week, according to the weather guessers.

    IOW, why i live in SoCal, still, despite the stupidity that is #Failifornia, like totally, fer sure!

  9. James

    I would say with the temps and all would look for any dead turkeys/frozen would be ready to keep till ready to dress out and eat.One does not want to eat em at least then move corpse if found away from house to keep scavengers/predators at bay,especially with a little pup.

  10. AlanH

    BUT Note:
    boreal |ˈbôrēəl|
    adjective
    of the North or northern regions.
    • Ecology relating to or characteristic of the climatic zone south of the Arctic, especially the cold temperate region dominated by taiga and forests of birch, poplar, and conifers: northern boreal forest.
    • (Boreal)Botany relating to or denoting a phytogeographical kingdom comprising the arctic and temperate regions of Eurasia and North America.
    ORIGIN
    late Middle English: from late Latin borealis, from Latin Boreas, denoting the god of the north wind, from Greek.

    AND even the OED agrees with that,
    boreal, a. (ˈbɔərɪəl)
    1.1 Of or pertaining to the north; situated on the northern side; of a northern character. boreal signs: the six signs of the Zodiac from Aries to Virgo. boreal dawn (rare): the aurora borealis. Now chiefly in Zool. and Bot.

    – But the “sub” prefix simply got hijacked for good by the climate historians. Now if I could just get my trigger finger working right…..

  11. BAP45

    Something you could do for the pup so he can go inside without it being a mess is to get some of those puppy per pad training things and put them by the laundry room or garage. Had a dog in an apartment for a year and they work pretty well even if they seem hokey. Or if you want to get creative and cover a tray (like one used for mixing cement) with fine wire mesh and then outdoor green carpet over the top. Urine collects underneath and waste can just be scooped off. Although from experience the pads are a lot less hassle.

  12. Tom Stone

    It was in the mid 60’s earlier when I went for a hike in the San Pablo Bay wetlands, 19,000 acres!
    Low 70’s now in Sebastopol, I stuck the sign out and will hang around the office an hour or two, made some peet’s coffee and picked up a treat at the Patisserie Angelica.
    Foodie heaven and no mistake.

  13. Loren

    After living in the Colorado mountains, where is snowed 9 months a year and hailed the other 3, I figured there had to be something better so for the next 30 years I’ve done the extreme Snowbird route. Summers in the colder regions of the US and then it’s off to SW Australia for their summer.
    Course I managed to mess that up some when I married an Aussie woman and had a child. Who would have thought married life would be so constraining?
    Anyway, down here in Perth this week it’s uncharacteristically humid and cloudy so my tan is wearing off. Bummer.

  14. Scott

    In the mountains of NC, 64 degrees today, down to 32 tonight. Winds are really whipping now though. At our elevation, we had to have the windows and deck engineered for 120mph winds.

    Fortunately, when it does get cold here (I consider ‘cold’ when the daily highs don’t break 20 degrees), our pooch still does her business outside. She just seems a bit more expeditious about it. Win-win.

  15. Adelbert M.

    Hey, put a bigger nozzle in the boiler. The boiler manual will tell you how big you can go.Turn the boiler water temp to the max-205 hi limit or so. Park the pick up near the door so the dog can get under it to dump. Take charge.All the best.Good work.

  16. Nato

    Cold weather is music time for little old me. $20 will get you a six stringed weapon in the Battle of the Sexes. Frets and only five semitones between string pitches mean you don’t ever need any talent or dedication to the craft to receive gushing praise. There are plenty of plaintiffs for the courting.
    I’ll wager a man with the level of self discipline like hog knows would achieve competence in, say, a special winter ditty with a total 24 hrs of experience. For your consideration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJUFTm6cJXM
    When it’s cold and dreary outside making music is entertaining and time consuming when you’re alone, social and status enhancing in occasions when it matters and satisfying in the self-improvement sense that better shooters than I describe coming from One Ragged Hole.
    It is one of those ‘most fun you can have with your clothes on’ things that impresses desirable company the way powerful sports bikes impress the dudes.

  17. Docduracoat

    South Florida has been 78 degrees F with no wind
    I went to the secret plinking spot and practiced drawing from concealment
    It was too sunny and for the first time, I could not see the laser dot
    So I got to practice point shooting without sights
    I also shot off 4 magazines out of the Colt Sporter Lightweight in 7.62 x 39
    Hoping for some wind to go windsurfing before the season ends in May

  18. Cap'n Mike

    Winter has arrived in the Northeast,

    The whole thing.

    All in one weekend.

    Imitation Toto gets a little treat if she goes out, yellows the snow, and comes right back in.
    Works like a charm.
    Though I still find my self trying to pick up turds by the clean end.

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