Over the past several weeks, the weather here in Madison has been very spring like. High temperatures have been up to 20 degrees warmer than average. Snow fall has been virtually non-existent, and lakes in the area are not frozen — a very unusual situation for January. The other day I was outside retrieving the paper, and I happened to notice a whole collection of box elder bugs (who hibernate during the winter) sunning themselves on the side of my condo. With the higher than normal temperatures there are mold spores and other allergens in the air. For about the past couple of weeks it’s gotten bad enough for me to take my daily allergy medications — something I’ve never done in January before.
I very much enjoy the change of seasons in Wisconsin. I like the balmy summer weather, the cool crisp air of the fall, the promise of warm weather the spring brings, and yes, I like the bitter cold, snowy weather as well.
About five years ago I got into snowshoeing, and with the amount of snowfall we’ve had during the past several winters I’ve only had the chance to snowshoe once or twice each year.
There’s something very comforting about being inside during a big blizzard. The wind is howling, the snow is coming down so hard you can’t see across the street, and you are snuggled in on the couch with a blanket, a book, and steaming cup of hot chocolate.
Maybe I’m just getting nostalgic in my old age, but I remember a lot more big winter storms when I was a kid. Back then we had plenty of opportunities to sled, build snow forts, and have the obligatory snowball fights. I don’t remember the last time I saw children playing in the snow. Last year, there was only one big storm (that I can recall) here in Madison.
The only good thing in this trend I can see is a reduction of heating costs. With fuel demands so low this winter, the price of crude oil has dropped to it’s lowest point in almost two years.
Given the choice however, I would much rather pay “normal” heating costs if I could only have some beautiful winter weather to enjoy.