The climate is so tropical here in South Louisiana, that a weather forecaster on the 10 p.m. news can send us all into a tailspin, making us wish we had watched the 5 p.m. news so we’d have time to install those pipe sleeves we wish we’d bought in the fall when we saw them on the endcap at Lowe’s.
Since it rarely freezes here, we panic. We grab old sheets and cover our potted plants on our porches. Some of us even wrap old blankets around hibiscus and other tropicals that aren’t freeze tolerant.
For those of us whose houses are up off the ground, where the cold North wind can blow and help Mother Nature freeze our water pipes, we frantically make sure every faucet in the house (in my house that would be 5) is dripping both hot and cold water throughout the night and until the temp rises above freezing. A hard freeze for several hours could crack the PVC piping many of us use nowadays.
It so rarely freezes here that the animals are even in awe of the ice and have to see it with their own eyes and feel it with their own paws and, in this case, butts. Sweat Pea never goes outdoors, but I made an exception so she could experience this freak of nature.
We are totally unprepared for ice and snow in the wetlands. By the time it gets cold enough for us to experience a freeze, the northern part of the nation is fed up with the ice and snow while we stand in awe and wonder and almost downright worship.
A rare gift from nature, the ice makes everything take on an element of the surreal, as though we’ve entered a wintry warp where time literally stands still and silence reigns supreme. Standing statue-quiet, it’s as though you can hear the ice beginning to melt; and if you dare to speak in this sanctuary of the crystal, everything might crack right before your eyes.
The freeze brings a beauty unmatched by anything else in the depths of winter, so we revere the ice for the couple hours it is ours, while Northerners curse their crusted windshields and snow-blowing machines.
We were forecast a hard freeze for this morning. My faucets are dripping, in hopes of waking to icicles. Instead, I resurrected these photos from our Christmas Day Freeze of 2004. I hope you don’t mind.
It is below 32 degrees here, and wherever you are today, I hope you find warmth.