That sums up the bone-chilling temperatures we’re having right now.  If you’ve never experienced this kind of cold, let’s see if I can give you an idea.

-26 F at twilight this morning

Normally when you think of cold, you think of snow.  When it’s this cold, it doesn’t snow.  The consolation is the sun shines and it shines brightly!  Sometimes we see sundogs.

Behind a closed window blind.

I bundle up in my parka, toque, and ski mitts to go out and do the animal chores.  The wind bites at my face like hundreds of tiny needles.  Exposed skin can freeze in a matter of minutes.  Beneath my feet the snow has changed from the low sound of crunch to a high pitched squeak with every step.

As my mechanic hubby says, “This is when things break”.  Cars don’t go without the block heater being plugged in for several hours.  So when the power went out last night, we were all up, stoking the wood stove and starting the cars.  To get to work this morning, the engine needs to be kept warm but without electricity to power the block heater, starting the engine is the only way to do that.  It will start as long as it’s done soon after the power goes out and before the block heater has a chance to cool down too much.  Thankfully the power was out for only 1 hour and 40 min.

Frosted steer! Is that frozen drool?

The waterlines in the barn froze while the power was out.  There really wasn’t much we could have done about that.  The animals were all fine, though.  I spent 45 min. this morning with a hairdryer defrosting the waterlines, and hauling water to Happy.  A milk cow drinks a lot of water.  She needs a lot of water.

The temperatures are expected to stay this low for a couple more days.  We usually manage okay when it comes for a day or two but when it continues for more than that, it really starts to take it’s toll on the farm.

Those warm summer days in the garden seem so far away right now… (yes, we get those too)

Have you felt this kind of cold?
How cold does it get where you are?

First frost

We had our first frost last night.  It came so suddenly! Two days ago it was 27C.  This is when we usually experience a frost but September was so warm it felt like summer was going to go on and on.  Sunday the weather took a sudden turn to ‘seasonal norms’ and the rest of this week is looking the same.  Now I expect the leaves will be turning soon.  Of course a forecast of frost sends me out to my garden to save anything growing above ground.  garden_bountyThis is picture shows the result.  I can pace myself with canning as long as the veggies are in the garden, now I have to take care of them all right away.  It’s not too bad, really.  First the reddest tomatoes and the cucumbers, while the green tomatoes ripen.  I can make a few quarts of dill pickles and I will can most of the tomatoes.  The peppers didn’t do very well because most of the summer was too cool and they like heat, but I think I have enough to make some salsa.  Also pictured is more green beans and a small head of cabbage.  What you don’t see is me contending with all the fruitflies. ugh.  I wasn’t sure if the butternut squash could tolerate a frost?  So I picked them just in case.  It was the first time I grew them, and I’m really looking forward to having them! Yum!