Bethany left a post on my Facebook page Sunday asking me if I was going to be back in town in time to walk today (Monday). She added, “Hey, it might be above freezing, too!”
Nice, I thought. I didn’t even bother to check the forecast. I bundled up reasonably well before her arrival, but when I popped outside to see if she was there yet, my forehead froze on the spot. So I popped back *inside* and changed to my big furry hat.
It was actually around zero, but a really cold zero, especially when we were walking north. It was nice that Bethany had to stop at the Fire Hall and the Law Enforcement Center for reports, because it gave us a chance to warm up a bit. But the walk from there to 15th Street was brutal. Fortunately, it got better as soon as we turned to go back along Beltrami Avenue, although talk soon turned to long underwear and winter face masks and our lack of both today.Â (Actually, neither of us has a face mask, but I had one last winter that I bought at Gander Mountain. It was great — it closed with Velcro in the back and hadÂ little breathing holes for the nose, which meant the glasses didn’t get fogged up by breath escaping from the top of a scarf. Somehow that mask did not surface with the rest of my winter garb.)
Snow is piling up this winter, but it’s important to keep fire hydrants clear so firefighters can quickly access them in case of an emergency. As city crews clear snow and ice from the streets, the Bemidji Fire Department asks residents to help by clearing a three-foot radius around hydrants. Residents can adopt a fire hydrant to ensure the the hydrants remain accessible and visible. For details, call Fire Chief David Hoefer at 751-8001.
Speaking of the firefighters, when we buzzed to get into the Fire Hall today, Justin Sherwood hurried to let us in and observed, “You guys look cold.” We had walked all of two blocks! That did not bode well for the rest of the walk (but we obviously survived). It was hard to feel very justified in our whining, though, with Kelly Skime sitting there. He cross-country skis to work. In the summer, he kayaks. And both he and Justin were among the firefighters who recently jumped into Lake Bemidji during the Polar Plunge, where Justin chose the somersault approach. They are definitely more Minnesotan than we will ever be.
This is another view of the scene pictured at the top of this blog post. I just thought these snow piles looked like some sort of sentries or vague gargoyle statuesÂ built around the trees. I think they looked more gargoyle-like in person, though.
You can’t make out the detail very well on this tree trunk, but I thought it looked like a dancing person holding up a tree with its right hand. It seems kind ofÂ poetic; a tree that looks almost dead gives way to one branch that seems like a tree itself. Trees just seem to find a way.
After our walk, this was our Facebook exchange, which after Bethany’s first response made her mom wonder if we were fighting.
Laurie Swenson When you said “above freezing,” did you mean “above zero”? (Not that it was above zero.)9 hours ago Â·
Bethany Wesley And, for the record, I said it “might be” above freezing. Not that it was even close, but I at least didn’t PROMISE anything!9 hours ago Â·
Laurie Swenson Some meteorologist you are.7 hours ago Â·
Bethany Wesley Maybe I should say it will be -27 and sleety tomorrow … this way when it is positive 3 and “breezy” we will feel blessed?!7 hours ago Â·
I can’t say the photos were very pretty today. The snow is dirty and the trees are bare. Our best photo is the puzzler. Isn’t that sad?