If A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings In August, Do We Get A Polar Vortex In January?

Look closely.  The above is a photo of a butterfly landing on salvia.  I took it, while standing on our stone path by the side of the house, last August.

Seeing the butterfly then made me happy because I’m working on turning one quadrant of our garden, by the stone path, into a butterfly habitat.  So far, this is a project in its infancy having attracted only a few butterflies.

But I have dreams. Big Butterfly Habitat Dreams.

And now, not to put too fine a point on it, I have a cheerful photo, perfect for sharing here today, whilst we’re in the midst of the Polar Vortex.

People, it is cold outside.

Yesterday it was 7ºF in the early morning and I thought that was cold.  I had to go to the doc’s office for routine blood work so I bundled up and navigated the plowed, but still slippery, streets to get there.

It was an interesting drive.

Today, at the same time in the morning, it’s -3ºF outside and I’m going nowhere.  Nowhere I say.  Yep, I’m staying at home inside, being the reasonably prudent slacker that I am at heart.

Why?  Because I can [the obvious flippant answer that we all know and love].

And because you, my gentle readers, are out there in the world wide web, waiting, I hope, to comment on this post so that I have something meaningful to do with my time today.

What up, kids? Life treating you well?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

125 thoughts on “If A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings In August, Do We Get A Polar Vortex In January?”

  1. I’m a polar vortex survivor as well, though I’ve got you beaten by a few degrees. 😉 It’s -24 outside right now and I’m starting my 4th day off from work because schools have been closed since Monday. I did venture out on Tuesday morning because I had no donuts at home and that was a wrong that had to be righted. It’s funny, I wrote a post on the deep freeze, too, and I also included pictures of flowers from my garden. Great bloggers think alike I guess! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Travel Architect, well of course you had to get donuts. They’re a staple when the temps plummet. I realize that our weather is in no way as awful as those people who live north of here, but it is unique for the region.

      I look forward to reading what your wrote and agree that great bloggers do think alike. Considering what I’m seeing out my window today, I need to look at colorful flowers. 💐

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It got to a thin slice below freezing here in Cornwall, then we had three inches of snow, cars ran off the roads, and all human life stopped. But I used to live in Minnesota, up near the Canadian border, and my friends from those days are laughing themselves silly over the idea of everything shutting down over three inches of snow. There, that barely qualifies as a nuisance.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I live in the Twin Cities! You were brave to live way up north, where they are always arguing about which town had the most snow/lowest temp. We down here in the Cities laugh when places shut down over what we deem minimal winter weather, but we also marvel at what those in northern MN endure. Up there they probably laugh at us when we shut down for snow and cold. It’s all relative.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Okay, this is where I have to admit that living in Cornwall for 13 years has messed up my geography. I lived in Minneapolis. But–well, the state itself is on the Canadian border and yeah, I lied. It’s easier than being accurate. And from this side of the Atlantic, it all seems to be close enough. I’m originally from New York, so MInneapolis was enough to send me into shock: the snow, the cold, the sheer overwhelming length of the winter. Anyway, sorry about that.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. No problem. I’m used to the weather because I grew up next door in Wisconsin. The husband tries valiantly to endure winter with a smile every year, but an English Midlands upbringing did little to prepare him for Great Lakes states’ winters.

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      2. Ellen, we live here in an area that’s hilly and people who are from here panic over 3″ of snow. Those of us who grew up around deeper snow, farther north, just shrug. It’s all about where you came from and how comfy you are with snowfall. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We have several butterfly bushes in our back yard. They do a great job of attracting different species, and they also attract the hummies, too. Stay warm! I had a cold walk to my building this morning. It was 19 degrees, but thankfully no wind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, we planted two small butterfly bushes in my intended butterfly habitat and one thrived while the other one croaked. The one that is living has attracted some butterflies, but I haven’t seen any hummers around it. I figure if you give me a few years I’ll figure out what works here and what doesn’t. And I’ll soon find out which perennials survive subzero temps… 🤨

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  3. Just outside my apartment I have a butterfly tree…once a bush I’m sure but never pruned or maintained and now an actual tree (by my definition) that blooms with glorious color each year. Both the butterflies and hummingbirds love it. It keeps me entertained for hours.
    We have had such a mild winter, but they say we may get our first snowfall Sunday/Monday. I am pre-planning how I can stay tucked inside as well if that happens Ally Bean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I’m safe and sound here so I have no real worries. It’s unusual for the temps to dip so low here, but Z-D and I both grew up farther north so we know what to do about this polar vortex.

      I’ve seen photos of butterfly bushes that are intentionally made into trees. I’d like that but space wouldn’t allow. So I went with the miniature ones that are now available. They’re cute.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. dennyho, THANK YOU! I’ve never heard of such a thing and now I have to explore further. From the photo in the link it looks delightful. My Butterfly Habitat is rather a slapdash affair so anything goes in it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought a few of these several years ago on the recommendation of a nursery and I was not disappointed! They actually came back for a few years but after a rather harsh winter (I’m guessing this is why), they did not. I will plant more this year as they do add beauty without taking up much visual space. I like that they are wispy and colorful. I hope you like them, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s amazing to see all the news reports and pictures from around the midwest. I saw someone throwing up a cup of boiling water that turned immediately to snow. I remember growing up and having very cold temperatures in the winter. We would just bundle up and go out anyway. Mom and her friend took all of us kids ice skating one day and found out when they got home that it was 0! I do not like to be cold anymore. So glad we live in the south now! Love your flower and butterfly picture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I saw someone throwing hot water in the air outside, too. I didn’t know you could do that, but I have no plans to do that here.

      Yes, you’re right. As kids we just put on more layers and went outside. Remember walking a mile to the 9th grade building? Hmmm? That was cold.

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  5. It is bitter today. It was 1 degree. I wisely chose not to go to my walking group but went directly to Starbucks. This is the weather of dead batteries and with my old one, I had no intention of turning off the engine and letting it sit outside. That is a good excuse not to exercise, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, this weather is the best excuse to not exercise in the world. I feared for my car battery yesterday when I had to leave my car out in the parking lot while I went into the doc’s office, fingers crossed that the car would start again. It did. Without problem. But you never know…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I get what you’re saying. My car is 16 years old, but Z-D had my battery replaced last December. It starts up instantly now, so I’m good. But it’s always something I think about in this kind of cold.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I cannot imagine that cold. And I’m reading that people are dying! Crazy. Stay inside for sure! I just wrote another post so you can read what’s going on with me there. As for “The Butterfly Effect” I do believe in it! If you have not heard of Andy Andrews, you should check him out while you have nothing to do today. He is a motivational speaker we heard a while ago and he has some of the best stories, one of which is about the Butterfly Effect. Another is the way he sang Amazing Grace as a child. HIs father was a minister and Andy put quite a few spins on that song that his father didn’t really appreciate. It’s good for a laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I know how quickly you can get frostbite when it’s this cold, and while I am fortunate to have all the outdoor clothes that I need to stay warm, I’m choosing to stay inside today. Yesterday was enough for me.

      I’ll be sure to visit your blog [because you know I need to know what’s going on with you] and to checkout Andy Andrews. He sounds delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. NEO is ice, pure ice. And well below zero. I’m livin’ for The Weekend, which promises temps into the 40s, and perhaps, by Monday, we’ll see the 50s. AND THE GRASS ON OUR LAWNS!

    (It does not take Much this time of year to get me excited.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, no ice here. For that I’m pleased. I feel for you, but am, too, living for the weekend. Or more specifically next Monday when the predicted temp is to be… 63ºF. Can you imagine?

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  8. I’m thankful for butterflies, flowers and hummingbirds; the pictures(and memories) of them bring beauty to the wintry world. I cannot imagine those polar vortex temperatures! They are very limiting to outdoor activities of any kind, which I would hate. However, I do love to read and drink coffee inside. 🙂 Our weather has been gorgeous, but is changing to rain, and even perhaps to some lowland snow. We may have temperatures as low as the 20s, which is cold for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, these temps make for a different way of living. It’s ok for a few days, but subzero winters are not for me. There’s only so much inside time I can take and do before I’m ready to go somewhere, do something, anything… 😧

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        1. I’m an introvert, but I do like to leave the house from time-to-time. I talk to people, I do things, I go for walks. But not in these temps. Here I sit, not unhappy but just a bit bored.

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  9. As luck would have it, I am missing the polar vortex by hanging out on Vancouver Island. But I’ll have plenty of opportunity for cold weather when I’m back and before I leave for Barbados…and when I come back from Barbados. ‘Cos Ontario weather be like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I’m glad you’re getting the chance to travel to warmer places during the polar vortex season. I’d guess that you’re more accustomed to this kind of bitterly cold weather than we are. I’m not hating on it, but it wears me out. And it’s easy to feel trapped inside with these wind chills discouraging me from going elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Just as our recent lunar eclipse did, I’m struck by how this current polar vortex is bringing large groups of people together. The old adage. “We’re all in this together” never seemed so true.

    I got my hair cut this morning, so have been out. And yes, it’s cold. But where I am in northern Vermont, it’s sunny today. And the ground is covered in marshmallow fluff.

    Time for another cup of tea. TaTa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, good observation. I try not to let the weather influence my mood negatively, but it’s a great topic for blog posts because so many people can relate. Case in point.

      Stay warm. You’ve given me an idea… time for a cup of tea. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, would you believe that our inside temp is currently at 63? That’s where I put the thermostat so the furnace can occasionally have a few minutes off from working. Living in this cold would drive you bonkers. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, I certainly hope that butterflies flapping their wings in August doesn’t always mean a polar vortex! Dreaming of butterfly days though is a good way to deal with the cold, I think. Stay warm – I hear warmer weather is on its way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, yes I like my butterfly thoughts today. You’re right, warmer weather is on the way and if the forecasters are to be believed, on Monday we’ll have a high in the 60s. It’s going to be a miracle if we all don’t get sick from these extreme temperature changes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Junieper, thank you. My fascination with butterflies is a new thing in the last few years. I figure if I give the right perennials enough time, I’ll get a habitat going eventually. It’s fun to watch the butterflies that show up, so I want more of them. 🙂

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  12. Well, I made it to work, with subzero wind chills. I got to wear my new pom pom hat so I was a happy camper! I don’t mind the cold, ya know. Now, would I want to live where the polar vortex comes from? No. But do I mind it visiting every now and then? Not so much.

    I seem to be having a 3 p.m.-ish slump. I feel there’s a teeny chocolate bar in my future….

    Hope you’re staying warm!

    p.s. Can’t wait to see the butterfly habitat’s habitaters (not a word!) this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, I like winter when it’s above 10ºF outside, but this deep freeze weather wears me out. I feel sluggish and not warm and trapped inside. Now obviously this is a temporary thing. In fact by Monday we are to be warm… like spring warm… which might be going too far in the opposite direction for February. 🤔

      I look forward to the butterflies, too. Hope I can grow what they need to thrive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The weather seesaw is not a good thing, methinks. Of course, if I get a 60+ degree day midweek, I may have to dip into my paid time off. 🙂

        You seem to be a happy gardener. I’m sure they’ll love it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am in awe of this winter so far. We have temperature extremes one week to the next, but not one day to the next. This is wacko, but not in a good way.

          I’d take a day off, too. Although no cute hat on a 60+ degree day. There’s that to consider.

          If happiness is what it takes to get butterflies interested in my habitat, then I’ll glue a smile on face every time I start messing around in the dirt. 😁

          Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s just too brrrr.
    Do you have a fireplace? Oddly we’ve always had them since power outages can/do disable the heaters..definitely prefer the gas fireplaces – easy to use and you don’t have have termite loaded wood near your house./ Besides fireplaces are cozy…we can always turn up the AC – oh ok we only do that in Oct when the rest of the country is smug about fall clothes and apple cider and such
    I love your summer garden for butterflies idea. Some of the monarchs actually winter here – I saw several flying around Monday when it was so warm here. The determined Lantana bushes which I thought were sent to sleep why the last front, suddenly gutted it up and pushed out new blooms – guess they know there’s not a lot of butterfly favored flowers around right now. I won’t trim those ragged/scraggly bushes back as long as they bloom. Honey bees are struggling, too
    Stay warm! (raining again here)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, we have a fireplace but we don’t use it. It’s only for wood and I’m allergic to that when it burns, so our fireplace is decorative.

      I tried planting milkweed a few years ago and it didn’t grow well. I even had [expensive] native plants that were from this region. I’ll try some again this spring when I can get back out there to goof around in my butterfly habitat. Right now the whole area is more theoretical than actual.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wood fires are too much trouble and sneezy.
        I haven’t managed milled…being a weed you’d think it would be easy…but not for me.
        This is the time of year my dad used to endless browse seed company/flower and vegetable catalogues…I’m beginning to understand now. Dreams are good for winter weather

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If we had a gas insert in the fireplace I’d be into it. Instead we have candles in it that, while pretty, don’t do much to heat the room.

          There’s something tricky about milkweed that I don’t get either. I’ll do more research before I try it again. And I’ll look at some seed catalogues while I’m at it. For the dreams they harbor therein.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. I walked this morning when it was 14 degrees. That’s the best way I know to get warm. When I came back in, the house seemed overheated. Of course, I’d have to walk every other hour to stay warm without wearing sweaters and throws inside..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, I’m wearing a throw over my fleece top over a t-shirt right now. With jeans and socks + shoes. I am shapeless, but warm. Over the weekend we’re supposed to see warmer temps, and you can bet your bippy I’ll be going outside for a walk.

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    1. Donna, you have a good idea there, find some warmth, read a book. I’ll be doing that tonight for sure. Warmer weather is supposed to be here by the weekend and for that I am grateful. I don’t hate frigid weather but it sure does slow me down.

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  15. Ally, what part of the vortex are you freezing in today? I’m in western NY and I agree, stay put. Unless, of course, the dog needs to go, then it’s Katie, bar the door. Seriously, it’s very harsh. But school is open tomorrow and I need to climb into my ‘yellows’ and get to my crossing post. Stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m down here in SW Ohio and it is unusual for our temperatures to get below 10ºF let alone below zero. Fortunately I see this morning that the temps are in the teens so we’re now beginning to warm. Hope your weather does the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It was -5.5C here a couple of days ago, and it was lovely. It’s +1.5C here today and feels so much colder somehow! I can’t imagine what it’s like there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Polly, this weather is bitterly cold by this region’s standards. Today the temps are rising and by Monday the weather forecasters claim it’ll be spring-like outside. This I gotta see and feel to believe it. 🤨

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  17. I think we can safely cast aspersions on fire ants or yellow jackets and leave the poor butterflies out of it!
    I look forward to admiring many butterfly photos a la Ally Bean 🙂
    I’m glad you stayed home! My family stayed home Wednesday, kids had a delay Thursday, and The Mister, and the kids, and FIL all got to have a delay today, while I was all-in, white-knuckling through snow to get to work. It was NOT a good drive. I was so glad to drive home on merely wet roads. Phew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, fingers crossed about the butterfly habitat. I have a few ideas about what to put in this space so we’ll see if I’m dreaming or if I can make it a reality. Butterflies are cool. I want them near me.

      Schools were closed Wed, Thur, and Fri here. It’s been weird to not see anyone or dog outside for three days. So quiet, to the point of me wondering if I’m living on an abandoned set in a Hollywood backlot.

      Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy driving your car with ease. Enjoy being warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Photos taken during the summer are rather comforting to look at right now. We can reminisce about warmer days and fantasize about the summer ahead. I’m already starting to fill my calendar with possibilities. We may need to add in an extra month this summer to accommodate it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, if you figure a way to add in an extra summer month [a good one like our early summer ones not a late one like our humid ones] please share this with us. While I like to live in the moment, some winter moments need a bit of enhancement in the form of plans and dreams. Hello summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Such a refreshing and bright sight to see – I love flowers and butterflies too. I planted zinnias and black-eyed Susans last year and I had lots of butterflies stopping by. I hope the butterflies find their way to you again this Spring/Summer. And I do believe the PV has left the building in my little part of the world – hope it has in yours as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley, good idea with the zinnias and black-eyed Susans. Both of those plants would work in the sunny quandrant destined to be my butterfly habitat. Yes, it’s warmer here today and almost all the snow has melted. It’s as if the PV never happened. Trippy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they love hot sunny spots – that’s what I had to provide for them too. I was so impressed with the meticulous way the butterflies would travel around each flower. It was fascinating to watch. I know – the PV was one heck of a trippy experience. I hope not to go through it again any time soon! Stay warm!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, I appreciate all pleasant comments, like this one, regardless of their timeliness. When one keeps a personal blog one learns to be grateful for whatever attention one gets. Is this not so?

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  20. Our week has been a combo of 50-degree weather and below zero. That is New Hampshire for you. I am a hibernator during this time of year, only getting it out if absolutely necessary. Transporting kids back and forth to school is necessary–I suppose–so that’s my time outdoors. Tomorrow we have a wind advisory. That’s telling me I ought to stay inside. What do you think?

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    1. Kate, we don’t usually have these kinds of weather extremes here so it seems wrong to me. I find that if it gets too cold [or too wet] outside I find a reason to hibernate for the day… if I can. I take wind advisories seriously because around here there are so many old trees with weak branches, waiting to break and drop to the ground. I don’t want any branch to fall on my head or on the car/road when I’m driving. Be safe, ok?

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