After a brief respite with high temperatures in the 40's, we are back to winter weather here; last night it got down to 0 degrees, while, of course, the surrounding area was ten degrees warmer. I've been looking at detailed topography maps, trying to analyze the effect of Lake Superior, and I can only conclude that the warming effect of the lake pushes colder air masses just a bit to the south, and we are in just enough of a valley (we're talking elevation change of 100 feet or less) that the coldest air settles in this little pocket of ours. Hooray for microclimate.
Our temperatures notwithstanding, the shipping season opened up in the ports of Duluth and Superior at a record early date this year, with the first ship going out Tuesday the 14th carrying coal. The railroad four miles west of here, which we can hear plainly, was a nonstop rumble of activity on Sunday; now I know it was trains carrying coal to be shipped out at the earliest possible date.
But this little cold snap makes me lethargic for some reason. I am so looking forward to spring, but when it drops below freezing all I want to do is huddle under a down comforter or in front of the woodstove. I was going to start lettuce and other greens, but even that will have to wait until I can step outside without freezing. It didn't help that we got about three inches of snow on top of the melting mass, with perhaps more on the way. The Twin Cities got more than we did, for once, but they had nothing to begin with. And forget about enjoying it in March; I'm not going to get out the cross country skis for a day or two of skiing, much as I miss it.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the signs of spring posted on blogs that are south of 46 degrees north latitude, or near an ocean.