What’s hot and what’s not (part 2)

I thought I would carry on with the second part of what’s hot and what’s not this weekend, as it is particularly cold in Oxford today.

What’s hot:

Nothing like a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee to start the day. The aroma and caffeine serve to wake you up, while at the same time the liquid when drunk will warm you up from within.

Insulated glass holding freshly brewed coffee
Insulated glass holding freshly brewed coffee

A bowl of warm soup is always appreciated when the weather is cold. It helps to warm you up at the end of a long day away from home.

A nice bowl of warm home-made soup (tomato and basil)
A nice bowl of warm home-made soup (tomato and basil)

Chilli especially very hot chilli will warm you up and increase your metabolism. It should not be long now before our crop of Ghost chilli will be ready for harvest.

Ghost chilli nearly ripe for harvest
Ghost chilli nearly ripe for harvest

What’s not:

It is currently -2 degrees celsius in Oxford, UK. There is frost everywhere. It is on the roof of houses.

Frost on the roof of houses
Frost on the roof of houses

It is on the cars, which will need to have their windscreens scraped before they can be driven. This is a task we need to do most mornings in winter, so extra time needs to be allotted for this task every morning.

Frost on windscreen of the car - needs to be scraped off before you can drive
Frost on windscreen of the car – needs to be scraped off before you can drive

The grass is frozen at this temperature and flattens down when you step on it. It does give one the opportunity to express one’s imagination. Here I’ve stepped on the grass in my garden to produce the image of a cross. Even my youngest daughter commented that there was a cross in our garden when she looked out of the second-floor window this morning.

Grass is frozen and when stepped on will remain compressed - it will allow for interesting designs to be made from walking on it (here I've made a cross)
Cross made by stepping on the grass.

Frost is everywhere, even on the leaves. There are some plants which can be damaged by frost, and has to be protected from this. Sadly it was too late to rescue the one Ghost chilli plant I had outdoors, as it has been damaged by the cold and is sadly destined for the compost heap (fortunately I have the other three in the conservatory).

Frost on the outdoor plants
Frost on the outdoor plants

The decking is covered in frost. One has to be careful when walking on it, as it is liable to be very slippery.

Forst on the decking
Forst on the decking

Below are many images of frost crystals on the decking, all taken with the Olympus E-P5 and 60mm F2.8 macro lens, using the Olympus FL-300R (off-camera) for fill light. The images which look warmer have had some sunlight shining on the crystals as well.

Frost
Frost
More frost on the decking
More frost on the decking
Macro of the frost crystals
Macro of the frost crystals
Frost on decking
Frost on decking
Close-up of frost crystals
Close-up of frost crystals

It is very cold due to there being no cloud cover overhead overnight – this leads to heat escaping out of our atmosphere, which leads to extremely low temperatures. But there is always a positive side to everything. We get to see frost, which during this time of year when we are approaching Christmas. This is very appropriate for the season, as up until now it has been unseasonably warm and not like winter at all.

The big question now is: will there be a white Christmas?

Boon