Penguins might have been right at home at this bird bath outside of Anna City Hall which was coated in ice last week.Icicles dangled from bleachers at the Anna City Pool last week. These icicles were hanging around in Anna, doing their icicle thing, following last week's round of frozen precipitation in Anna.

Cold, freezing rain, frozen fingers...

What you're seeing this week makes it official. My brain froze last week.

Call it the effects of the winter of our discontent. Old Man Winter seems to be especially grumpy and cantankerous this season. At least we haven't heard anything about the Polar Vortex. 

Winter seemed to settle in with some nice cold weather right around Christmas time, which seems long, long ago and far, far away. We've had a few warm days, but Mr. Winter was just kinda teasing us.

We've been blessed with subzero temperatures, snow, ice, sleet (now called ice pellets), freezing rain and probably some other stuff that folks don't see around here very often. 

One almost expected to see a flock of penguins show up at the Union County State Fish and Wildlife Area (I know, it's the refuge), a walrus to be basking somewhere along Clear Creek and a polar bear on the prowl in a creek bed at the Trail of Tears State Forest.

Last week, we had one round of ice. As if that weren't enough excitement, we had some more last Saturday night.

After both rounds of icy precipitation, yours truly did a little wandering around in the cold. I'm pretty sure that was when my brain froze.

It was bad enough that my fingers froze in the cold while I attempted to take some exciting photographs. Some of those pictures are what you are seeing this week. Pictures fill up lots of space, really quick. That is good when one's fingers, and brain, freeze. By the way, the pictures were taken at various places in Cobden and Anna, including the pool at the Anna City Park, where nobody was swimming. 

Actually, the fresh layers of ice made for some pretty spectacular scenery, especially after some sunshine returned. Some of the images reminded me of a Christmas card.

Writers sometime have issues with frozen brains. Folks will sit down at the keyboard, and all they can do is hope for the best. That's 'cause sometimes, like now, all you can do is cross your fingers, and then try to type with crossed fingers.

Speaking of winter: are you as excited about the Winter Olympic Games as I am? Didn't figure you were.

I find it quite interesting that folks seem somewhat surprised that it is cold during the Winter Olympics. Just kind of makes me want to go hmmmmmm...

At least we can rest easy as a nation after an American athlete finally won a gold medal in something called the luge, which I think is Greek for "sled that goes really fast down a tube of ice."

Apparently, as a nation, we had not won a single gold medal in the luge event since the Olympics started back in Something Something B.C. By the way, did you know that back in Something Something B.C., the athletes competed sans clothing, as in naked. I understand that the Winter Olympics were quite a challenge back then.

The Other Half, who is much wiser than yours truly, did point out that for the athlete who worked and trained so hard to earn the gold medal, the achievement should be seen as something very special. As always, she has a much better take on such things than I do.

Hopefully, Old Man Winter will get worn out pretty soon and move on. There are some positive signs that such a thing will happen.

Major League Baseball spring training is getting started. The Other Half is thinking about getting some of her plants started for this year's garden. The thought of picking a fresh, ripe tomato or two in the garden is a sure sign that things are going to get better.

Before we finish up, a belated happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart, who seems to think I would finally figure out that wandering around in the cold and snow and ice to take pictures until my hands hurt does not make me the brightest bulb in the box.


The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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