Bracing For The Frost

So here’s the thing: I don’t mind winter if I can stay indoors in the safety of my apartment and the comfort of the heater. But if I have to walk / commute in sub-zero temperatures, I tend to be miserable and my migraines have a field day. Berlin is bracing for the onslaught of the northeasterly winds coming from Russia, where the temperatures are currently -35c and are set to make a first appearance this weekend.

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When the cats and I got up this morning we greeted the sunshine, blue skies, and wispy clouds. It didn’t take us long to figure out that this scene was utterly deceiving because it was -7c outside and the river was frozen again. Not even the crows were around, and they usually don’t care how cold it gets. The coots and ducks honked and quacked angrily along the riverbank, and I can’t say I blame them. The swans were nowhere to be seen, and I had to wonder how any of them were faring with food.

In any case, it is cold in Berlin and we are expecting temperatures to drop to -10c by Monday morning and -12c on Wednesday. Some unfortunate places outside of Berlin are going to experience -28c and my heart goes out to them.

See-through ©MTHerzog

From a photography point of view, there is a special winter light that turns the sky into something straight out of a fairy tale. Having lived in tropical countries where the sunsets can be drawn out and quite spectacular, I am spoiled when it comes to dramatic skies. I have to admit that much as I despise the cold, there are certain images and winter weather conditions that give soul photography a whole new meaning.

You are looking at the exact same scene in photographs above, but one taken shortly after sunrise and the other at sunset. I have to stop photographing in my pyjamas though, because in these temperatures, even five minutes outside on the balcony will turn me into an Asian popsicle! I found a funny quote on Pinterest this evening that sums it up beautifully: in these freaking cold winter temperatures you have to decide what expression you want to have on your face before you step outside, because it will freeze in place once you do. I agree completely.

I was under the delusion that I could decorate my window sills with a couple of tulip bulbs and hyacinths this week, since I saw some of the plant shops selling them already. But Spring is nowhere to be seen at the moment, and as the meteorologist said earlier, it doesn’t stand a chance the next two weeks.


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