Winter Moves In, Arctic Cat

Just over a week ago the last flowers were blooming, like this late Mandevilla vine climbing the front porch post…

…and this very late rose, well beyond “the last rose of summer.” Then the cold weather moved in with purpose, keeping us well below freezing at night and in the low to mid 30s during the day.

Our little pond has been frozen all week. It’s warming up some today, so the surface is melting…

…but the frozen bubbles in the ice are still there. How does this happen? It’s a mystery to me. I mean, bubbles are usually short-lived, how do they become encased in ice?

Last winter our cats were young kittens, and we hadn’t yet let them know about going out on the porch. Since spring it’s been one of their favorite places to be, or it was for both of them until wintry weather hit. Tigger now won’t go out for more than a few minutes, but Leo seems to have the Arctic spirit, and will sit out there under the rocker watching the birds at the feeders for an hour or more, even when it’s close to freezing. I don’t know how he does it.

That still leaves lots of time inside to go on Feederwatch at my studio window’s small one. Other activities include playing soccer around the house with a pingpong ball, wrestling with and running with Tigger, and of course eating or thinking about eating, or suggesting pointedly that it’s time to eat. Tigger seems to have developed other new hobbies: tipping over trash cans in the bathrooms (so that now we hardly use them) and pulling the drain plugs out of the sinks. I suspect it’s going to be a long winter…

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