Set for a small daytime NYE gathering

Is there anyone else whose tolerance for frigid temps has risen significantly this winter? In the cold climate zones of the US, people are finding ways to get out of the house safely, either with the family unit or even with others. For me, that doesn’t mean indoor restaurant dining or shopping. It does mean taking advantage of the winter beauty found in nearby nature preserves and parks. I wrote about that recently

And then there is the opportunity for safe—but minimal—gathering that’s right outside. Like many, we’ve invested in heating devices and we’ve gathered up all the blankets we can spare. It’s not perfect, but it will get us through a couple hours with temps in the thirties. Given a sunny day and smart layering, I’m thinking even the twenties would likely be okay.

What can the garden offer at this time? Mine has birds. Every time we have friends out there, we’re entertained by a nearby flock of mainly house finches, with some doves, chickadees, and cardinals thrown in. Maybe others—I’m not too good on bird ID. Also, the fish are swimming about, a heater protecting them within the pond’s icy carapace.

Friends have refitted their porches with heaters and strategic curtaining. Fire pits are all the rage on local restaurant patios, some wood and others gas—which I prefer. (Having understood that outdoor wood fires were banned in the city, it is somewhat perplexing.) The discussion of which type of heat to go with is difficult. With electric, you can fuse out the whole house, but having huge propane heaters around in a tight urban neighborhood isn’t ideal. We all do what we think is best and hope we don’t blow anything up. Keeping safe is not without its unsafe aspects.

It’s all here to stay for a few months though: winter, the pandemic (longer), and needing to emerge from the cocoon. Good luck to all of us.