January 09, 2010

The Deep Freeze.

Parts of Europe are experiencing the coldest winter on record. Scandinavia is no exception. We are officially having an ice-winter, meaning some of our bays, harbors and inlets are frozen over, for the first time in fifteen years.

For the past week, the temperatures have stayed below zero in the days and we entered deep freeze in the nights. The air is very dry and bitterly cold, too cold for comfort. This is the time when breathing becomes uncomfortable and no amounts of clothes can keep us warm enough.

Having been under a heavy blanket of snow now for almost four weeks, nature is effected as well. Birds are suffering and some plants too. Particularly my evergreens look so poor. The leaves of my rhododendron have shrivelled beyond belief, folding into themselves, they have turned into long tread like forms, making the bush look very sad.
My terrace is a very different place, then the one I recall from the long, warm days of summer. That beautiful season is still very far away and can only be revisited in pictures.
However, despite the freezing subzero temperatures, as soon as the fragile sun envelopes my surroundings the way it it does today, I can not help but marvel over the beauty of winter, when it is at its best.

(Please click the images below to enlarge).


Diane said...

It feels like that here, too. I'm stalling about taking the dog to the park, though we've had it all to ourselves this week, as no one else will brave the cold. Sundance has gotten a taste of freedom (no leash at all) and he likes it! I think he'll be the only sad one in the whole northern hemisphere when it warms up! :) Stay warm, dear Z! xo

♥Mimi♥ said...

I think both of us are having to do our best this winter to be warm. Over here the skies have been so blue each day allowing the sun to stream through my windows and to cheer me, but BOY with no cloud cover at night the temps don't just drop they do a free fall☺

I'll keep you warm in my heart if you'll do the same for me☺

BTW, your photos are gorgeous, too! If you ever have the time to experiment with any of yours, download a FREE program called PhotoScape. I've been using it for a while and still I'm finding new features. Great for a free item! I just love it☺

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

We have cold temps but not NEARLY as cold as what you are having! I am sure you stay in as much as possible.
I particularly like the summer/winter photos of the terrace.
Stay warm and enjoy your weekend Zuzana!

Unknown said...

Zuzana: Your post reminds me that Winter has its mix of beauty and inconvenience as well. Hope you stay warm with some hot apple cider! xo :)

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Beautiful pictures! They offer hope of the Spring and Summer to follow! It's very cold here but even now I have nothing to complain about as we have only had these severe temperatures for tow weeks. Although, when the temperature reaches 32 degrees F it seem balmy here! God bless you and keep warm! Cathy

Anonymous said...

Your terrace is beautiful...summer as well as winter. Our patio is the same with everyting covered in snow. It is like 2 different worlds. When does your spring begin there?

D said...

Zuzana, the blanket of snow will keep the soil warm beneath, and I have seem my rhododendron leaves transform themselves from being shriveled.

We also had freezing here several weeks ago; in 16 years our pond never froze over, but this was different with 6-8 inches of solid ice. Hopefully we can send forth some of the 50 degrees we now have. ;) Stay warm.

Anonymous said...

While serving in the USAF, I was stationed out on the Aleutian Islands for remote duty. It was bitter cold out there as well. So I can appreciate what you are saying here. Please stay warm for us! We must discover more wonderful Northern traditions from you as the Winter progresses and Spring is welcomed once again in all its fresh splendor. Have a great weekend.. I'm reading a great Elizabeth George mystery by the fire. The Bach

Anonymous said...

Everything here is brown & gray, with very little snow. Thank goodness for the blue skies!

Bundle up and stay warm, Zuzana! Hopefully the deep freeze will not last too much longer.


Sumandebray said...

They say Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The pictures do look very beautiful though a bit like the inside of the deep freezer of our old refrigerator.
But the fact remains that this is a harsh winter and life is very difficult for the less fortunate people who do not have the means to keep themselves warm. After looking at the pictures coming out of Europe and US I have stopped complaining about the cold here which by the way is in double digits and far away from zero.
But I am appreciative of the fact that in spite of the cold outside there are warmth in the heart

Kath said...

I think I have forgotten how it feels to have the sun on my skin! It was -1 here during the daytime and up to -18 in our area. Scotland is colder with -22 I believe. I thank heavens for my open fire and my big pile of logs!

Brian Miller said...

really beautiful pics...winter can be so beautiful...and the sun is out and it would be nice if the wind did not blow the warmth away from my face...ready for spring.

steviewren said...

I think your winter mosaic is very beautiful. The colors are varied and vivid. The blue of the sky and the shadows is amazing. Stay warm today. Our temps here are not supposed to go above freezing until tomorrow afternoon. It is 28 degrees outside and it is noon. Brrrr for us here in the South.

Unknown said...

Wow. And I thought it was nippy here!

I'm not ready for the winter to end quite yet. (Maybe in another month.) Loving the photos.


Laura said...

I remember when we first moved to NH...the first time the hairs in my nostrils froze when I stepped outside...It had never occurred to me that that would happen, having always lived in a warmer climate!!! It will be cold here tonight too...the snow is blowing around, being lifted by the wind...like frozen fairy dust, sparkling in the sun. It's beautiful, but so, so cold!

Bundle up!

sprinkles said...

Brr...I'm cold just looking at your pictures and reading about the low temps there!

It's cold here too but I really shouldn't complain. The snow is melting a little bit at a time. I so would not want to trade places with you right now!

I say cuddle up with Bat Cat, a warm blanket and nice cup of hot chocolate or whatever you like to drink.

Once I get cold, it's hard to warm up. I feel like I never really get warm in winter. I've heard it said that if I lived somewhere where it was warm all year round that I'd miss the changing of the seasons. Honestly, I probably truly would miss spring and autumn but it would not be possible to miss winter!

Reasons said...

Lovely shots Zuzana. Still very cold here too, but I do prefer it to the grey, wet days we normally get in winter. Warm wishes to you.xxx

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Winter has certainly shown her more drastic side to many the world over this season.
Though we long for sunny, warmer days patience is important for beneath the heavy snow and ice Nature is performing her miracle and before you know your lovely terrace shall once again be lush with flowers and buzzing bees...

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I love your winter photographs! Winter is a difficult season for me. I yearn for the warmth of the sun and the flowering plants and the singing birds. So I huddle up near the fireplace with my Goldie cat in my lap and sip my hot tea. We are also experiencing record breaking low temps in the South. Wonder what it means!

Pearl said...

Minnesota is experiencing the same thing -- in a state comfortable with being uncomfortable, there's record-breaking cold for us as well.

Stay indoors, layers as many natural fibers on your body as possible, and listen to music that makes your blood move faster.


Kata Wagner Berg said...

but we in middle of Europe are melting :(
More than 5 months till Summer :(

Blogaire said...

Hi Zuzana, what a contrast between your Summer and Winter shots. Your garden still looks wonderful although I can imagine how cold it must be.
Ireland is also under a massive blanket of snow. It looks lovely but it is so unbelievably cold. I can't function at all in cold weather but tomorrow I will try and motivate myself to take some photos.
Stay warm Zuzana and lets hope these Siberian Winter winds will veer away from us soon.

Betsy Brock said...

Brrr...stay warm and cozy! You could go ice skating if it weren't so terribly frigid!

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Zuzana,

As much as I miss the snow and frozen water, it is the cold I do not miss. Never the less I am delighted in seeing pictures from Europe as I feel I am back home once again.

Thank you for sharing and putting it all together so very nicly.

Warmest regards

Sniffles and Smiles said...

It looks absolutely frigid!!! Please bundle up, stay warm,and take good care of yourself my new friend!!!! You mustn't get sick now that I've found you...I want to be able to enjoy many more of your absolutely exquisite photos!!!! ~Janine XO

Shelly's Style Shop said...

Below zereos is too cold for comfort. Brrr.... And to think I thought it was cold here. We only got down to 17 degrees last night. ha! Your pictures are beautiful. I wish we has snow. We just have to deal with cold weather and no snow. =(

Stay warm and have a good weekend.

xoxo, Shelly

J Cosmo Newbery said...

43 here tomorrow.
That's Celsius, not Fahrenheit.

Wanna swap?

Zuzana said...

Diane, Mimi, Jill, Michael, Cathy, LadyCat, Di, The Bach, Zuzu, Sumandebray, Kath, Brian, Stevie, Tim, Laura, sprinkles, Joanne, Susan, V or C ;), Pearl, Kata, Blogaire, Betsy, Egmont, Janine, Shelly and Cosmo - thank you all for stopping by. It seems that the whole northern hemisphere is experiencing colder than normal weather.
Thank you also all for your kind words on my photography, as always they warm my heart.


Gal Friday said...

My poor rhododendron's leaves look the same way!
Seems a goodly portion of the globe is in a deep freeze lately.
Love the photo collage, BTW. :-)

Hilary said...

There truly is beauty in even the coldest of winter, and as your side-by-side images prove, it will be warm and beautiful again. Soon. OK, not soon but eventually. ;)

Claus said...

The freezing temperatures are being experienced world-wide. I don't recall ever going through so much cold in Guatemala in my 34 years of life. It's ridiculous! A semitropical country like mine does suffer from low temperatures, but never - I think - have we've gone through something like this. And we all can feel it: plants are turning brown!, birds are coming more often for seeds (my mom and I feed them daily), my puppies are cold, and my parrots have required more layers of clothing at night. It's very odd really, because even with sun and clear skies, the environment is freezing. It was 5°C today! :-o
Your terrace looks so different!

Zuzana said...

Tina, Hilary and Claudia - thank you ladies, I so enjoy reading your words - your visits mean the world to me.;)