About to Pop
As I have said, I've been in semi-hibernation for weeks, waiting for this miserable, severely subnormally cold winter to end, or at least return to normal temperatures. Normal high in the past week would have been 44° to 46°. Not once in the past week did our temperature even equal the normal high, much less exceed it. Indeed, the daytime high has been as much as 22° below normal.
In the entire month of February, the daytime high equaled normal ONCE, and NEVER exceeded it. My car's battery "died" again, and I didn't call AAA to get a jump start, because I'd have had to go out in the cold every day thereafter to run the engine for 20 minutes or so to keep the battery from conking out again, and I was not about to go out into severely subnormally cold weather unless absolutely necessary. So I have been hiding from the cold. My only warm rooms are still not really warm, so my body and mind have been in partial shutdown mode. I keep waiting for the worst to be over, but have waited in vain.
One of my oldest friends — meaning at once a person who has been my friend for many years and who is older than I — has suffered worse than I from the cold. He has a very bad landlord (indeed, slumlord) in Greenwich Village, who has refused to make needed repairs of many kinds to various apartments, and if tenants complained, he would evict them on the ground that he needed those apartments for relatives. Of course, the relatives did not really take over those apartments. They wouldn't live in those conditions. But the sham transfer of the apartments to family members passed under the radar of city regulatory authorities, and my friend Don was afraid he too would be evicted if he called in City inspectors to try to get repairs made. In the past couple of weeks, supposed repairs to other apartments produced an almost total shutdown not just of heat but also of water, both hot and cold, which was reduced to a dribble in my friend's apartment for at least several hours a day, if not even all day long. So bad did things get that Don had to be admitted to the hospital for two days, for dehydration and possibly hypothermia. He is almost 76 years old, and his condition brought the attention of a social worker on the staff of the hospital, who has reported his situation to a New York City agency for Adult Protective Services as well as the City's Housing Preservation authorities, who will investigate Don's intolerable abuse by his slumlord. Mind you, Don does not live in a slum, only a building maintained like a slum. He pays over $1,200 a month in rent, for a tiny, one-bedroom apartment without heat or hot water — or even most cold water — in the depth of winter. That landlord needs to be sent to JAIL. New Yorkers seem to put up with more CRAP than people anywhere else in this country, and I am very glad I escaped New York.
The AccuWeather forecast for the next three weeks finally shows signs of a return to relatively mild temperatures, tho still, for the most part, subnormal. I can deal with temps well above freezing, even if still subnormal. So I anticipate being able to rev up to my own normal, that is, normal activity level, as soon as daytime temps rise reliably above freezing.
The fotos below show two trees as seen from my windows, that hold onto some of the biomass they produced during the prior growing season, until new growth in spring pushes old growth out. This first foto shows the clusters of copper seed pods of the tree in front of the house nextdoor. Many such pods from trees up and down the block have fallen to the ground, or at least released their seeds. Some areas of snow have been heavily dotted by those black seeds. Others of the seeds and pods remain on the trees.
The next foto shows one of my oak trees that hold onto many of their leaves until spring. Mind you, my oaks do release massive quantities of leaves and you can see in this picture that a branch at lower right has no leaves, whereas the branches at the left do have leaves. I shall have to go out, once the snow on my driveway and side yard melts at least in large part, and walk around checking if all my oaks hold onto some of their leaves, or some release all their leaves. While I'm out, I'll see if any of the crocuses have pushed up thru the snow. But I'm afraid there is so much snow this year that even if the crocuses have sent shoots up, they will not have risen high enuf to be seen above the snow.
Still, it won't be long until the relative warmth of late winter and early spring pushes the last of these pods and leaves out, for new, green growth. I am very eager to see it.