You know we just escaped a bitter cold snap when the temperatures in the mid-40s we experienced this weekend seemed rather balmy.
Several days in a row last week with daytime temperatures in the single digits certainly left no doubt we are firmly in the grips of real Pennsylvania winter. Almost makes one want to drag some of the global warming crowd outside and clobber them around with an icicle.
OK, I mean that in the figurative sense only, and I am not actually advocating violent behavior toward anyone.
But being more or less shut in during the recent deep freeze gave me ample time to recall how much I loathe all the vociferous eco-whiners who promote the myopic notion that we are in the grips of an apocalyptic crisis known as manmade climate change.
I'm certainly not a climatologist but neither are most of the global-warming pinheads and their stable of coconspirators in the news media. Common sense alone would indicate the spate of warm winters we experienced during the 1990s and early 2000s were barely a hiccup in the grand scheme of geologic time and short periods warming and cooling are a natural part of a larger dynamic cycle of weather here on Earth.
In fact, looking at the big picture of historical climate change on our planet, we are much closer to another ice age than being parboiled by some so-called greenhouse effect.
Rather than fret about the possibility of another continental ice sheet occurring sometime in the next 25,000 years or so, however, I spent most of last week engaged in some of my usual mid-winter chores.
The first of those includes packing up and storing most of my hunting gear so I'll be able to find everything again in a few months from now. It's safe to say that I probably own enough hunting and fishing gear to outfit three guys. The flipside of possessing that abundance of gear is keeping it all organized so I know exactly what I have (or need) and where each items is.
While trying to manage and maintain all my equipment represents an ongoing effort, I have made a few inroads at completing that project in recent years.
One key aspect in that transition has been adopting a modular approach to organizing and storing most of my stuff using dozens of those rugged plastic storage containers in a range of styles and sizes.
In my deer-hunting module, for instance, I stow things like scope covers, knives, drag rope, rifle ammo, walkie-talkies and other pieces of gear specific to deer season. When turkey season is over, the calls, camo head nets and turkey loads go in their own box, and ditto for the bird-hunting and small-game stuff. It's obviously a simple system that works well, providing I keep up my end by stowing everything properly when the time comes.
Keeping my fishing equipment in shape presents a bit more of a challenge, mostly because of the sheer volume of stuff I have to deal with.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an unbridled accumulator of fishing tackle whose unofficial mission seems to have been acquiring at least two of everything.
And when I find a lure that I really like, I'll probably stock up with at least a half dozen or more of it in three of four different colors. On the other hand, I am not a tackle collector, so employing the modular scheme helps get all those goodies on the water and into action. Fortunately, I have also acquired a wonderful selection of tackle bags and boxes, which facilitate packing a specialized assortment of lures and terminal tackle for each type of fishing I do most often. I have a bag devoted to river smallmouth fishing, another tailored for lake-dwelling largemouths and couple of smaller tackle packs loaded with crappie and panfish lures and jigs.
I'll further mix and match the contents of all of those as the season progresses in order to have the right baits for the given time of year.
As depressing as the current cold spell has been, however, it can't last forever. But for now, the frigid temperatures only heighten the anticipation of warmer weather a little more than usual.
In the meantime, I'll be readying a couple tackle bags especially for an unseasonably warm day or two in the coming weeks and the first outing the year.