Dangerous cold and winds are expected to continue and worsen, so be careful out there this week. Temperatures and windchill can freeze exposed skin in minutes.
I did get a chance to build a fun igloo with the kids! It really helps just to get out of the wind.
Even outside pets should be brought in. Growing up we trained our dog to stay on her rug by the back door. We did find him on the couch once, and he would skooch inch by inch off, if me or my brother were lying on the floor nearby watching TV.
Livestock is also vulnerable, make sure their shelters are holding, their waterers aren't frozen and they have plenty of feed.
|Doves enjoying a drink at the heated birdbath|
Back up heat, and emergency supplies are always a good idea, especially in cold like this.
Some good news to come out of this is that it can help reduce the number of overwintering insects-hopefully more harmful ones than good ones! The invasive marmorated stink bug and spotted winged fruit fly can't handle the cold, but often are good at finding shelter inside or under the snow, which is a decent insulator as I found in my igloo above.
The great hope, especially for Northern and Eastern Iowa, as well as Minnesota is the cold mortality of the Emerald Ash Borer. A study from the Forest Service in Minnesota showed mortality (die off) rates of 5% of the insects at 0F, 34% at -10F, 79% at -20F and 98% at -30F.
You can also read more at Minnesota Public Radio's blog-
So finish your outside chores if you have them, grab your favorite hot drink and snuggle in. Then browse those Seed Catalogs, read a Good Book or listen to some Podcasts!