Thursday, February 10, 2011

An apt description of the weather around the Rock River Valleycold has stopped the clock ...Thoreau's Journal: 7-Feb-1855

The coldest night for a long, long time was last. Sheets froze stiff about the faces. Cat mewed to have the door opened, but was at first disinclined to go out. When she came in at nine she smelt of meadow-hay. We all took her up and smelled of her, it was so fragrant. Had cuddled in some barn. People dreaded to go to bed. The ground cracked in the night as if a powder-mill had blown up, and the timbers of the house also. My pail of water was frozen in the morning so that I could not break it. Must leave many buttons unbuttoned, owing to numb fingers. Iron was like fire in the hands. Thermometer at about 7:30 A.M. gone into the bulb, -19 degrees at least. The cold has stopped the clock. Every bearded man in the street is a graybeard. Bread, meat, milk, cheese, etc., etc., all frozen. See the inside of your cellar door all covered and sparkling with frost like Golconda. Pity the poor who have not a large wood-pile. The latches are white with frost, and every nail-head in entries, etc., has a white cap. The chopper hesitates to go to the woods. Yet I see S.W.—stumping past, three quarters of a mile for his morning dram.
You can read more here.


  1. He puts what we have into perspective

  2. My husband and me often sit together in the middle of the night and study and think about the weather of my two artist- friends you and Stille Linde, and we had the result, that you have really very cold winters in northern Ilinoy!