Yesterday, with the aid of a dazzling sun, the mercury in the thermometer outside our north facing dining room window bravely rose above the big fat O for the first time in several days. There is a photo on the front page of our town's weekly paper showing Main Street at 10 am this past Monday with not a vehicle or pedestrian in sight. That morning Anne and Matthias made a video flinging a pan of boiling water into the 21 degree BELOW zero air, creating an instant frozen vapor. (I have no idea how to create a link for you to see it from here, but if you'd like to see it, I'd be happy to forward it to you in an email.)
During our cold spell the temperature on the second floor of the farm house never rose above 60 degrees in the daytime. I keep my orchid collection on an old bakers rack next to the sliders and my computer desk in the sunroom on the second floor. They love the sun and don't seem to mind the cold, even as it dips down quite a bit below 60 at night.
Here is my Sherri Baby. She smells divine. When I was still media center director at Emerson Middle school, I kept her on the check out counter while in bloom so the students could enjoy the blossoms up close. One of my autistic students loved to put his nose right into her petals and sigh "Candy!"
And as of today all of the moth orchids are growing flower spikes.
There is nothing so encouraging as plants you've tended for years rewarding you with blossoms. And all the sweeter on subzero days.