Snow Chickens

ptarmigan: (aka Snow Chicken) Hardy, northern ground-dwelling bird....with feathered legs and feet. The willow ptarmigan, found in bushes and heather in northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia, grows to 38 cm/15 in and turns white in the winter.

A few days ago we had a very heavy snowfall. We had enough snow that you could no longer see any of the old footprints or animal tracks, just that beautiful blanket of white. The next morning, I glanced outside and noticed what looked like a HUGE footprint on our deck (either that or an unfortunate squirrel fell off our roof).

"I wonder what made that mark?" I said aloud.

Without hesitation Madeline replied, "I think it was a Polar Bear." Not a bad guess if you ask me....

And then the big front came in and knocked us to sub-zero temps. Now, my mom had warned me that it was coming but even so, I ended up walking Aidan to the bus stop in 3/4 length lycra-like work-out pants which missed meeting the tops of my boots by about an inch and a half. In California, that would only mean you look ridiculous. In Minnesota, it means more than just looking stupid.... 

We stood there with Aidan's friend Nile and Nile's dad. Nile had on this cool black mask covering the lower portion of his face. 

"That's a cool mask, Nile. What is it for?" I asked, because I am sometimes really dumb.

"That's for when you are standing outside in negative 16 degree weather waiting for a school bus," his father answered me. I couldn't help but notice his amused look as he glanced at me and Aidan, both of us grossly unprepared. (I don't think Aidan even got his gloves on that morning so his hands were hiding up under his coat, which fortunately, he had bothered to zip for once and he had hung his lunch-box around his neck.)

"Ahhhh, so THAT is why the exposed skin on my legs feels like it's burning off," I chuckled, kind of.

"Yeah, you'd better go back inside. I'll wait with the boys," he said.

"Gee, thanks! Bye, Aidan!" I yelled, running across the street and back inside my house where there was ice on the INSIDE of our windows (and yes mom, the heat is, in fact, on). It took over an hour for my legs to stop burning. 

I am guessing the Snow Chickens and Polar Bears don't have this problem. 

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