Monday, December 12, 2011
How to Stay Warm
It's December, and the Weather Channel is starting to show some really cold temps. Not in Kentucky, thanks goodness, but we will get our share of the cold stuff before long. So I thought this would be a good time to share some tips on how to stay warm. Our feathered friends would immediately say to "Keep your feathers fluffed up." This collects body heat, and makes you look really tough!
Eating properly is important too. This brave bird ducked behind the icicles one winter to get plenty of good oil sunflower seeds. The fat in seeds and suet is important to avian metabolism in the winter. Of course, people like it too - disguised as cookies!
If you don't have feathers, a fluffy tail serves the same purpose. Just curl up in your nest and wrap that long tail around yourself to keep warm.
Hydration is important in the cold too, but someone has to keep the heater plugged in for the bird bath. For humans, a hot shower feels great when you come in from the cold.
Pippin and Binx say you should always find someone warm to sleep with, and a 19 pound furry cat makes a terrific chair warmer. Sometimes I see Pippin with his "arm" over his smaller buddy Binx.
But, if all else fails, Binx goes for the mechanical heaters - such as the cable box. There's always enough heat coming from the box to make napping comfortable even if the surface is hard.
Of course, as an experienced birder, I recommend dressing in layers when you have to go out in the cold - long underwear, wool socks (I get mine at Bass Pro), boots to keep your feet dry, sweater, fleece lined jacket, gloves, and hat. Keeping out of the wind is always a good idea too. A warm fireplace when you get back inside is delightful - just remember to close the flue when the fire goes out! I like to pull a double thick fleece blanket up to my neck when watching TV.
To help warm up the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus this season, they asked Calgarians to tweet their tips on how to keep warm in Calgary's winter wonderland, and put them all to music - Carmina Burana, one of my favorites. It's a good thing they added subtitles though!
If you have suggestions for keeping warm, please comment to this post with them, and thanks! We can use all the help we can get.