Crystal Clear Morning

It froze at the airport this morning. The temperature was in the upper 30s as the Sun started lighting the treetops across the street from where I live. With the Urban Heat Island effect, we’re typically a few degrees warmer than the airport, although we’re also a few degrees colder than downtown.

Another weak cold front passed through late in the day yesterday. This morning reminds me of a day during my freshman year at Dartmouth. On a brilliant fall morning, around the third week in October,

Wheeler Hall, lower right, is about a five-minute walk from the dining hall. When I lived in the building in the mid-1980s, Buildings and Grounds allowed ivy to cover its brick facade. When the ivy took on the colors of fall, the building added to the autumnal wonder of that part of campus.

Wheeler Hall, lower right, is about a five-minute walk from the dining hall. When I lived in the building in the mid-1980s, Buildings and Grounds allowed ivy to cover its brick facade. When the ivy took on the colors of fall, the building added to the autumnal wonder of that part of campus.

I looked out the fourth-floor window of my dorm room in Wheeler Hall and saw one of the bluest skies I had ever seen. I put on a T-shirt and jeans and headed for the dining hall. I will admit here that, coming from California, it simply had not occurred to me what might be waiting outside that morning in the form of cold temperatures. By about halfway across the green, with my hands stuffed in my jean pockets, I was walking at a pretty good clip. I learned later that the temperature that morning was 18 degrees.

I have since seen other under-dressed college students do the same somnambulent shiver-walk across other campuses. It is a ritual, of sorts. Your average college student is way too self conscious to run, even if raising one’s pulse and lowering one’s exposure time to the elements is just what the situation calls for. I’m unclear whether I ran the last couple of hundred yards to Thayer Dining Hall. I hope I did!

How’s the weather where you are today?

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About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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