No, I’m not eating ice cream (not even banana ice cream as I continue with a Plant Power lifestyle minus meat and dairy). I was walking outdoors in an extremely cold climate. Walking behind my cute furry bear-of-a-dood (golden doodle), Mojo in nearby Grass Point State Park.
The wind was blowing head on and I am sure I gasped at the cold exposing my upper palate. Then suddenly my eyes were tearing and I was suffering from brain freeze or sphenopalatine ganglion, trying to pinch my forehead with thick mittens. Understandable, considering the extremely cold temperatures we have been enduring in this extremely cold climate. Mojo needs outside time but honestly since that day, he has been cooped up inside with the rest of us! The temperatures overnight have been as low as -30 F!
Around here people are saying we are having a “real winter” like the good(?!) old days. In fact, even the St. Lawrence River has frozen over like it used to always do. You won’t catch me out there but you might catch a Pike in this video filmed by one of our locals of black ice on the river – you can hear the ice crack, too. And though this is definitely not the South, some people travel by air boat over the ice to get to the islands as in the aforementioned video – a sure way to catch brain freeze, I’ll say.
Rumor has it the newly updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map put us in the Zone 5 range, but it actually lists my zip code as USDA hardiness zone 4b (-25 to -20 F). I always buy plants listed with a hardiness to Z4 (ignoring the a & b designations), thankfully, which puts plant survival in the -30 F range. All my plants should survive this “old fashioned” Winter in spite of my fretting that they won’t whenever I dare scrape off the frost to look out a window.
It is however, possible that the invasive Emerald Ash Borers will not survive: at extended periods of -30 F they will be “brain freezed” to death. And the crazy roller coaster Spring to subzero rides should help. Hopefully, our densely populated deer, or blacklegged tick herd will be thinned out as well as rates of Lyme disease increase – I know three people who contracted this disease in 2013! There is a warm, sunny side to everything.