Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sub-Zero Sanctum?

We moved to our current home about four and a half years ago. Our old house was just around the corner from where we are now. (We rolled our piano right down the middle of the street, much to our neighbors’ amusement.)

Why bother with such a short move? Well, the house is a little bigger, yes, but mostly it was, as they say, location, location, location.

Our new house backs up to one of our town’s reservoirs, which means we have wide-open space behind us, with a great view of the water and wildlife. We also happen to be on a cul-de-sac, with an extra-wide back yard, making for even better views of the sunsets across the pond (not to mention more space for flowerbeds!). It truly is a Sanctum in the midst of the suburban insanity.

The week before Christmas we got about eight inches of snow in our area, coupled with below-zero temperatures. This was quickly followed by two days of rainy, 40-degree weather. All that snow was gone in no time, and the run-off added an extra 10 feet to the depth of the reservoir.

Now, a week later, the Reservoir Gods (presumably the Chicago Water Reclamation folks) have decreed that the excess water be drained out of the reservoir, which has left some interesting ice formations around the edges.

That's a "no swimming" sign behind Sam, the Suburban Pup. As if anyone would be tempted!

Somehow, the ducks don’t seem to mind it. Totally ignoring the signs, they float contentedly right in the middle of the freezing cold water. (I suspect it’s partly to make sure that Sam and our resident coyotes keep their distance.) How can they stand it? Curious, I did a little web surfing to find an answer.

According to Dandy Designs, it has to do with a complex mass of capillaries in their feet that keeps up a constant exchange of warm blood for cold.

Boy, what I wouldn’t give for a human version of that this time of year. Oh, well. Cold feet, warm heart, right?

Stay warm and cozy, friend!


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Thanks for stopping by the Suburban Sanctum! I hope you've enjoyed your visit and will come again soon. I'd love to hear any comments you have before you go, and promise to respond as soon as I can. Thanks!