Playing hide and seek
As I drive through shutter slats
Found, hidden, found, hid…
Olly oxen free
Winter’s snow gives way to life
No-sleeve freedom play
23 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
21 Winter Begins! Winter solstice!
Did you ever wonder why the days are so long in the summer and so short in the winter? In the summer, around June 21 or 22, we experience the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. And in the winter, December 21 or 22 is the winter solstice, or shortest day.
But wait! If you live in Australia, you experience the opposite—the longest day is in December and the shortest is in June. Why?
The answer all depends on Earth’s tilt. In the course of one year, Earth orbits around the sun. It does not complete this trip, however, with the North Pole at the top and the South Pole at the bottom because Earth is tilted. In fact, it’s tilted just about 23.5º. So at different times of the year, either the northern or the southern hemisphere is tilted toward and is therefore closer to the sun.
So if you live in the northern hemisphere (north of the equator), Earth is tilted toward the sun in the summer and away from the sun in the winter. The solstice marks the turning point, when the days begin to grow longer (in the winter) or when they begin to grow shorter (in the summer). At the solstice itself, however, the sun appears to stand still in the sky for a few days before and after. The word solstice, in fact, comes from the Latin for sun + to stand still.
But then why, if the solstice is the turning point, is June 21st considered the first day of summer and December 21st thefirst day of winter? This odd fact is because while the hours of daylight are changing, the oceans need to catch up. Oceans take a long time to heat up and cool down (something called thermal inertia). In June, they are still cool from the winter, so the warmest days happen in July and August. (Have you ever gone swimming off Cape Cod in June? Brrrr!) Similarly, the oceans hold onto the warmth of summer long after the barbeques have ended. So the coldest days usually happen in January and February. (Again, everything is reversed if you live below the equator.)
Even stranger, Earth is closest to the sun between January 3 and 5, but since the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, the nights are long and the weather is cold.
20 A Charlie Brown Christmas
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is.
Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown, is from St. Paul, MN.
19 A Visit From St. Nick
’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
18 Winter Survival- Frostbite
You know how your parents always tell you to wear a hat, scarf and gloves when you are outside in the cold weather? Well, you better listen, because your hands, feet, nose, ears and face are the first areas on the body to be affected by the cold weather. By keeping these parts of your body covered, you can “seal in” your body’s heat and reduce your risk of frostbite.
Frostbite is when the fluids and cells in our bodies actually freeze. This freezing can damage our blood vessels, which can block bloodflow into the area, causing lack of oxygen and tissue damage. This can become a very serious condition if you do not warm up right away.
Whether or not a person develops frostbite depends on a variety of factors, including outdoor temperature, how long you are outdoors, the humidity (or moisture) in the air, if your clothes/gloves/socks are wet or damp, wind, if sensitive parts of your body are exposed to the weather and more. If these factors are in place, frostbite can occur after being outdoors for only a few minutes! And, children are especially at risk for frostbite.
A less serious condition is minor frostbite, or frostnip, which can affect the outer layer of skin, making your fingers, toes or nose look white. As you warm up, the white will disappear and the area will remain red, sometimes for several hours.
So, what are the frostbite warning signs?:
1.) Skin will appear white, grayish-yellow or grayish-blue in color
2.) Skin will have a waxy appearance
3.) The area will have no feeling, meaning it will be numb to the touch
4.) Blisters may be present, signaling a more serious case of frostbite
5.) The skin and surrounding tissue will feel frozen, stiff or “wooden”
6.) The area(s) may swell, itch, burn or have pain, especially as you warm up
To prevent frostnip or frostbite, or further damage after experiencing either one, follow these simple rules every time you are going to be outdoors in cold weather:
1.) Cover sensitive body parts (ears, nose, hands, toes, etc.), with appropriate clothing before heading outdoors
2.) Make sure clothing remains dry; if you get wet, change out of the clothing immediately
3.) Make sure to choose waterproof boots and coats, as well as gloves or mittens, to help lessen the chance of frostbite
4.) If you notice signs of frostnip or frostbite, tell an adult and warm up indoors – immediately. Serious cases of frostbite can land you in the hospital if not treated immediately!
Always seek medical attention for frostbite, as soon as possible, since permanent damage to affected areas can result in irreversible tissue damage or amputation, in extreme cases. In the meantime, follow these rules:
Taken from http://www.lanakids.com/frstandhypthrmia.html