Frozen nose hairs

The muted orange glow in the east tells me the time this morning.  At this 47-degree north latitude, the minutes in a day are changeable according to the tilt of the Earth.

Slow down enough to notice how the light changes as the seasons progress.  In February in Anchorage (latitude 61 degrees north), the sun comes straight at us; here at a lower latitude, that same straight approach comes a little later.

Slow down enough to gauge the temperature.  If the nose hairs are frozen, it’s at least 10 below zero F.  Important to know that for philosophical musings:  once while camping in February in the wilds of southcentral Alaska, my camp-mate and I were hanging around in the late afternoon dark, nose hairs frozen, having finished dinner in a plastic mug. 

We were bundled to the nth degree–on my feet, 2 kinds of socks, fleece booties, insulated soft over-booties, plus gore-tex knee-high overbooties.  Under our bums we each had a piece of blue foam thinsolite, keeping the frozen ground temps from seeping into our puny 98-degree F bodies.  He leaned back against a scrawny spruce trunk, sighed, and said:  “Life’s a bitch.  Then you die.”

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 08:43:27

    I stopped what I was doing to read this twice. Great writing.

    Reply

  2. lahgitana
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 08:55:13

    Why, thank you, young lady!
    Always nice to hear from you out there in Canada-Land!

    Reply

  3. schlurpytalkin
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 19:36:50

    I remember the feeling when my frozen nostrils would thaw out during those long winters. It was most peculiar and uncomfortable, kind like a mini Alaska breakup season in my nose. I wonder what I was doing in anchorage while you were camping in the wild? I wish we had met way back then.

    Reply

  4. lahgitana
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 19:45:15

    It’s quite a small world, isn’t it? Someday, we may figure out a moment where we crossed paths. Maybe on the trails around UAA?

    hahahahahaha mini Alaska breakup in your nose! sloosh! drip drip drip!

    Reply

  5. minlit
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 13:38:22

    Ah, our weather is so bloody mediocre here. Temperate maritime, I believe is the correct term, and that makes it sound quite good. Non-descript damp is probably more accurate though. We have to travel for any serious weather of any kind. (Though it did hit -19C in Galway one night last year!). But you know what? It leaves us kind of unprepared for anything. My husband wears the same gear to go camping as he does to go to work or to play football…When we have visitors coming to stay, I always tell them: Winter = +1 jumper. Summer = -1 jumper. Or sweater, if you prefer!

    Reply

  6. lahgitana
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 16:03:14

    That’s the way it is here where I’m living now, except in winter I pull out long pants and cardigans, and sometimes bright tights to cheer up the drab days. I prefer the variety of clothing I get to wear in a real winter…. ah well…

    -19C is cold! I love the cold–when the temps drop, I’m happy as a clam at high tide. (Tho’ I’ve never understood why they’d be happy because the humans and other predators can get at ’em. It’s quite possible my idiomatic American English is off–I have trouble with idiom and just make up my own phrases!)

    Reply

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