Thursday, January 7, 2010

The 12th day of Christmas

Here in the US, Christmas begins when they (the ubiquitous THEY) decide it is time to start selling & ends 12/26-or-so, but in most of the world, Christmas begins December 25th & ends yesterday.  While there were no lords'a'leaping in my world, there was (& still is) an unusually cold weather pattern hanging around.  Being able to see my breathe, wearing every article of clothing I own, the long long night clearly visible in the big windows of our Florida room has brought home the season to me in ways I have not felt it in years.  I could even say decades. It seems only right that I spent the 12th day of Christmas at herbarium with the holly & the ivy.  Well, the holly anyhow-I am up to Aquifoliaceae.

This is not a particularly large family, at least not collection-wise, but unlike so many others it is world-wide.  I ended 2009 with my first specimen from Ireland & spent yesterday tromping through Brazil, Cuba, Surinam & left after cross-referencing multiples of Ilex dahoon, a vigorous Florida native.

On December the 23rd campus was largely deserted.  A & I did not go out to lunch as we usually do when I am on campus.  We would have liked to, but all the on-campus restaurants close when the students are away.  The weather was lovely, I stopped by the farmers market (the only bustling place in the whole town) & walked around the Plaza.

On the 12th day of Christmas it was bitter cold-seriously.  The temperature got up to 50, but mostly hovered around 45.  I am not trying to make this into a macho 45-thats-nothing-here-it is-X contest; I grew up in New England, I know what cold is.  You can say my blood is thin if you like, but I promise you dry cold is just more bearable.  I would take 15 & dry over 35 & humid ANY DAY.  There was also an added factor: one of the turbines was dead & the back-up was dieing & so the 11th & 12th days of Christmas there was no heat on campus, at least none to speak of.  & campus was hopping.

On the 12th day of Christmas I left the well heated herbarium (yup, the only place on campus that seemed to have heat was the part of the building that houses a collection that requires dry cold, satire junkies rejoice) & onto the cold sidewalk where it was wall-to-wall people.  & since I am outside I mean from the wall of that building across the street to the wall of this building over here.

Which means no matter how cold it is, Christmas & winter are over.

1 comment:

  1. My dad lives in Florida and he has been keeping me posted on all the cold updates. He has had to bring in their plants that were in pots, etc. I hope you stay warm and enjoy the new year. Steph