Today was not colder than Tuesday morning, at least according to my iPhone, but cold is weird. Tuesday’s walk ended when I came in the house and had breakfast. It went off without a hitch. Today’s cold made my ankle ache. It made my ears want to die. And, even though I’ve been back for a half an hour, I can’t get warm. I feel like my fat is frozen, so my skin is cold from both the outside and the inside. I’m shivering like a fun woman’s sex toy. My legs ache. This, my friends, is bone cold.
And yet, like I said, Tuesday was technically colder. So, that’s weird. Is it somehow slightly more humid, thus giving the cold more stuff in the air to put a chill in and thus put a chill in me? Less humid so that cold puts its icy lips against my skin and just sucks the moisture and thus the heat right out of me?
And the ground in the back yard! It’s weird as fuck. There’s a while section around the tree where the trailer used to be that seems like it’s just turned to marbles. You don’t dare step there because you will slide. So, yes, to go for a walk, you have to navigate the part of my yard that’s all torn up from people moving a camper in and out, then the weird dry lake of mud marbles, then the uneven terrain from the moles and then there’s a brief flat spot before you hit the AT&T yard, which is more uneven terrain, because you’re basically walking on top of a frozen bog.
When I walk, I wish I were a shallow geologist or maybe a hydroengineer who specialized in ground water, because I’d love to understand what the fuck is happening to the dirt around here.
I kinda want to come walk on your yard now. As wet as it is, it must have frozen in some interesting ways.
I find cold weird too, in even more ways. It seems to me that even when the thermostat in the house is set to the same temperature, it feels different in the house depending on how cold it is outside. So, if I set my thermostat at 65, when the overnight low is 45, I am comfortable at home (even if I am wearing socks and a sweater all the time). But when the daytime high is 20, even inside the house doesn’t feel all that comfortable and I need more blankets in addition to the socks and sweater. But how that can be, if it’s 65 in the house?
Here’s hoping a hot shower and a warm bowl of oatmeal helped you warm up this morning.
W., the mud marbles especially are weird. The other stuff really does make sense to me–the ground was saturated and it froze and then, because of how dry it is, the water has been wicked out of it, leaving it weirdly uneven, like tiny waves of dirt. But where do the marbles come from? How do those form?
The Professor. I wonder about that, too. How is 65 so different just depending on how cold it is outside? (Though, weirdly, when it’s in single digits here, I have found our house to be too hot sometimes–like my body just can’t adjust to a sixty degree shift in temperature, so cold is “too cold” and warm is “too hot.”
I’m having trouble visualizing the marble thing so I’m not sure. And it’s a bit out of my expertise. Sadly, our staff geologist retired awhile back and hasn’t been replaced so I can’t consult him.
I’ve always been amused that I want to set my thermostat at 70+ in winter and 67 in winter.
Here’s my theory–keeping in mind that it’s based solely on my uneducated observation–out in the AT&T yard, where it’s really mushy a lot of the time, when it gets cold, the ground sometimes forms these frozen mud stacks. They look like Bloomin’ Onions, but made out of frozen mud. Each “petal,” so to speak” is about as big around as my finger. You step on them and they kind of crunch apart into french-fry looking things.
I think, for whatever reason, those formed in the marble part of the yard, but the dirt there didn’t sustain big strands of mud, but the top parts just broke off as they oozed upwards, thus making little mud beads, leaving me with a frozen marble mud puddle.
I can’t find any good pictures of the phenomenon on the internet, so I’ll have to take some, so you can see.
Water expands when it freezes, so if the dirt is saturated it can ‘grow’ like that. Most likely that’s what’s causing both of those phenomena. Your theory is probably pretty close. Texture and composition of the dirt would determine how it freezes. It might also have to do with the amount of water in the soil.
I tried to get a picture this morning, but it was, apparently, warm enough yesterday to melt my mud marbles. That part of the yard is now not treacherous to walk through. Which is both nice and I wish it could have waited for me to get a picture.