Vermont is locked deep in the grasp of winter. This December, the Conneticut River Valley received about three feet of snow (quite remarkable in these days of global warming). The snow has reflected sunlight back into space, causing the temperature to drop far below our winter average. But this Saturday, the weather got seriously cold.

The temperatures in Manchester (to the east) and Burlington (to the west) didn't go much below -5F (-20C) on Saturday morning. But a cold air mass lodged itself in the river valley, and those of us near Lebanon saw morning temperatures below -20F (-30C). To give you some idea how cold this is, my breath freezes to my beard at -5F. But at -20F, my eyelashes froze together.

This was, of course, the same morning we planned to go snowshoeing at 9am. The first half-hour of hiking was rather unpleasant, but after that, we warmed up and began to sweat. The woods were beautiful.