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1/14/05 – School was cancelled today due to extreme wind chill temperatures. The high today was -10 F with a steady 25 mph northwest wind. When I was a kid, we wouldn’t have even cancelled hockey practice, much less school. Of course, we also walked two miles to school through six foot drifts and uphill both ways to boot. The low last night was only about -25 F, but colder weather is forecast for tonight. It brings to mind the Ballad of the Frozen Logger, "The weather tried to freeze him, it tried it’s very best. At 20 degrees below zero he buttoned up his vest."

Wednesday morning, when it was warm, I woke up to the sound of dozens of blue jays squawking their heads off outside my bedroom window. Later that morning, I noticed another chorus of strident blue jays about a quarter of a mile away. Finally, as I walked among the buildings here, a chorus of at least fifty blue jays had moved into one of the large red pines near the canoe yard. As I peered up into the tree, wondering what was going on, a great gray owl flew out of the tree and across the yard to another tree. The gang of blue jays followed, sounding their frantic alarm as they went. It looks like their strategy is to defeat the owl through sleep deprivation. – Bill

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