Thirty-ish degrees, cold & flu, and garden worries in Whatcom County.

By: Stellaris , 7:35 PM GMT on January 17, 2013

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As I am sure I'm not the only one battling worries about pre-flu sniffles, high energy bills, and over-wintering annuals / non-hardy plants, I thought I would just try out this blog-type-thing and see what it's all about.
I am not an advocate of flu shots, especially since I have known several people who have had their annual willing dose of anti-bodies and have since become ill, but, shots or not, it seems as though the flu is a bit more rampant in Whatcom recently than in previous years. My boss, in his seventies, got hit hard. Now I'm getting the on-off sniffles, sore throat, and now other unpleasant indications that exceed the symptoms of the common cold. My rescue cats who, all having graced the presence of assorted shelters and have been exposed to nearly every cat illness under the sun, are also getting the goopy eyes despite having not had any recent exposure to illness.
I've heard it time and time again, "this? This ain't nothing, I'm from Minnesota - " or Iowa or Wisconsin. Sure, sure. Our weather isn't the consistent brutality that slams the Northeast or Alaska or Siberia, but c'mon. We northwesterners get used to the same ol', same ol' tepid (at best) rain showers with everlasting overcast and 40ish temperatures. We aren't used to this below-freezing-for-weeks-at-a-time crud, just like southern California isn't used to freezing temperatures, period. Cut us some slack. We all acclimate to our surroundings, whatever they may be.
Sure, we had a beautiful summer in 2012, but this endlessly sunny cold snap is a little frustrating. Everything seems to be in a cause-effect-cause relationship right now; the colder temperatures cause our body temperatures to lower and compromise our immune system, then we can't work due to illness, have to keep the thermostat up due to illness, can't pay the heating bills due to being unable to work. Curse you, blood-thinning-hot-summer-temperatures!
Then there is the garden. I thought I was going to be able to get a greenhouse going before winter last year, but the money just wasn't there, so I had to just throw the geraniums, fuchsias, tropicals and mini-citrus in a corner of the patio, throw some painter's heavy duty translucent plastic around it and hope for the best. I had some new heuchera that have since drooped, but as I had just recently purchased them, I hadn't yet noticed that the bargain plants had been ripped from their root base
and just set on top of the pot as if nothing had ever happened. Well, I never! I brought it inside, gave them soft, unfrozen dirt, a nice watering, and let them thaw to see if they would make it. The smaller one is showing vigor, but the larger one, not so much. Time will tell. In the mean time, they get to spend the rest of winter in recovery while everything else outside gets a whisper of a chance to thaw during the 15 minutes of warm sunlight that we are lucky enough to witness these days.
From the looks of it, there is no end in sight to the low temps of 32 degrees. So keep packing on the layers and drinking your tea. Hopefully we will get that mid-winter thaw in February when the bulbs start blooming.
One can dream, at least.

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8:47 PM GMT on February 15, 2013
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Columbia-Eldridge Marimba Palace
Bellingham, WA
Elevation: 97 ft
Temperature: 56.0 °F
Dew Point: 50.2 °F
Humidity: 81%
Wind: 1.1 mph from the SW
Wind Gust: 2.5 mph
Updated: 2:44 AM PDT on July 25, 2014

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