Are YOU a Weather Weenie?


Weather complaints hit an all time high this season, even in some of the southern states. The first Polar Vortex that came and went was the coldest in almost two decades as cold air made its way into Texas. The news stories were exaggerated in some instances, like those proclaiming Niagara Falls was frozen solid. Just not so.


It is not only those that dread the cold complaining, but also those that are flippant on Global Warming heralding that this cold weather means no global warming trend. Not so. The complaining heightened this week as temperatures in our area dropped into single digits again, making this winter a cold one.


Calling it a polar vortex is not correct according to meteorologists because the actual weather phenomenon never reaches the US. When the arctic gets warmer, we get colder as the high altitude system pushes the cold weather our way. To learn on how the vortex works see this link.

Sure it is cold, but I pine for those “more than not” days when Jack Frost nipped the nose. It just seems like the way things should be. I think many forget those days and these last two weather freezes are here as a reminder.


The weather HAS been getting fewer cold spells since the global warming trend began, no question. An AP study has said “these extreme cold spells have been happening every four years since 1900 until recent times.” This was the first cold snap in 17 years they documented and this week we are in the midst of another.


Science is thinking there will be less time between extremes in the future. One theory by a Rutgers University climate scientist suggests, “that melting Arctic sea ice is changing polar weather, moving the jet stream.” She noted that it will “bring on much weather weirdness”. I am always prepared for weather weirdness too. I love the cold and snow, but do appreciate when it warms up too.


I got asked what I wear when out photographing ice and snow. How do I keep my hands warm when shooting photos in cold weather? So I thought to show you.


I am fully covered head to toe in good quality warm outerwear. As a longtime skier, I head to the ski shops for the best in winter wear, like boots, hat and gloves – all those places where heat escapes a warm body. My coat is a 3-in-one meaning the layers can be removed if need be. The brown knit coat under the white outer coat can be worn separately.ย  The polyester in the outer coat keeps the wind and wet out.


UnderGloveAbove, the 2 pair of boots and the hat are from UGG, one pair of the boots are water-proof, the other is sprayed to be water-resistant. The brown boots are my favorite, they are like wearing slippers. I have heavy gloves (not shown) to match them too.

The mittens are warm in their own right, but I use warm glove liners (used a lot for skiing and shown above left) so when photographing it is not so bulky to change settings on the camera. I then put my mittens back on until the next photo is to be taken. No frostbite for me!


My hat has the fluffy muffs on the side that fold down and snap under my chin. The coat buttons up all the way to cover the neck, but I do use a neck warmer on occasion.


The coat and mittens are from North Face. I also have waterproof, lined pants from Eastern Mountain Sports to slip over my jeans keeping me warm and dry. I look a little like a polar bear all bundled up but boy am I toasty and dry.


Now you know how I get out in the snow and ice and why I am complaint free. I think a lot has to do with how one dresses whether they like or dislike cold weather. If one stays warm, they are more inclined to get out and see what beauty winter brings.

Next post see what I was doing in -4ยฐF weather. It is fun, creative and a little frustrating.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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67 Responses to Are YOU a Weather Weenie?

  1. The professor will not complain and hopes not to be perceived as complaining when he just mentions that he is freezing to the bones…..

  2. I didn’t know about glove liners. That’s a good idea.

  3. Thanks for the always beautiful images (though I’d really prefer seeing some Spring photos right about now). Re/ the Global Warming deniers — these are the same folks who think the Theory of Evolution is a liberal media-inspired hoax as well, so what can you do? Hang in there and keep snapping those greats pics!

    • Many want Spring. I can wait because that is when work picks up. I like the restfulness of Winter. I don’t understand those that deny that climate is quite different. Barring the actual science, one can tell by the repeated droughts, high summer temperatures and lack of rain. The extremes are telling too.

  4. SABATOWKA says:

    Beautiful images – like always!

  5. Hope says:

    Your photos of the falls are breathtaking! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Nice explanation. I thought the official term was climate change, which covers higher and lower temperatures. not global warming.

    • I do believe the official term is climate change, but global warming seems appropriate for the shift in the jet stream which is disrupting the El Niรฑo events. The warming waters and the melting Arctic ice are making big changes in weather, temperature and water levels. It seems so many factors are at play that predictions for the future are so much harder to make.

  7. Brenda says:

    Looks like your camera keeps your nose warm. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to get out, so long as it doesn’t drop below zero, or the wind isn’t vicious. And once I’m bundled up, I’m warm except for my cheeks and nose.

    • Today the wind was frightening. It blew the snow in a furious manner. We don’t get blizzards very often and today was one where one should not have been outside. I use the neck warmer and pull it up over my face, so only my glasses stick out. I always like ski goggles for covering the rest of me up.

      • Brenda says:

        You inspired me, and I went to a local garden to walk and take photos. It was so cold that my camera would not work after about 15 minutes. I went back to the car to warm it, and only got a few more photos out of it. Still some of them were okay, thought, and more than I would have gotten from my couch. ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you keep your camera warm?

        • I never had that problem. I do have an all weather camera (under water too) that when it is really cold, it came be used. I use my Nikon D7000 and never had a problem with it getting too cold to click the shutter. I never had a battery die too fast either. It does not do well in very humid conditions though. I had to send it in for repair once. I do like having a camera in all conditions. Some of my best photos are in winter, even in the garden.

  8. alesiablogs says:

    Hey, There you are! Coat and Gloves!

  9. Karen says:

    Hello Donna, You certainly look MUCH better than I do when you head outside in the winter. You look so stylish. Me, not so much, I resemble an elderly peasant most of the time. I have to admit to being more of a weenie when it comes to hot weather since you can always dress for the cold, but the alternative for the hot weather would likely land me behind bars.

    Winter isn’t just a season to be endured, it is a season to embrace. Your post gives wonderful tips on how to dress for success in cold climates.

    • Oh, I have my old down coat that I had forever that makes me look like a homeless person. I use it for shoveling snow because it is so warm and comfortable. It is blue like my snow pants. I am then a blue polar bear.

  10. Annette says:

    You’ve convinced me that cold is truely beautiful, Donna. I personally do not believe in the global warming theory (acid rain, dying forests anyone?). The climate has to be seen in the context of time and what happens at present can only be referred to as fluctuations in the climate as proper climate change doesn’t take place within a couple of years. Great pics, thank you. I’m glad you keep warm ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. janechese says:

    Good sensible clothing-nothing worse than getting cold when you are outdoors shooting unless its forgetting extra batteries when the existing ones die due to the cold..You look stylish at the same time. Some outdoor photographers use hand warmers, then thin pair of gloves you describe followed by a thicker pair then big mittens that go over them, only in extreme conditions.Regarding weather change, I do believe that there are normal fluctuations over the years as well as the consequences for spewing out the waste that we do.

  12. Phil Lanoue says:

    Right now 81.9% of the U.S. is at or below freezing with the average temperatures being 19.2ยบF.
    When I woke up this morning it was 21F with a wind that feels like razor blades cutting through you. I’m not built for this here in SC, and I will not be going out to look at birds today.

  13. acuriousgal says:

    Perfect, Donna and those are cute boot boots!!! You hit the nail on the head with preparing for the elements. It really is all about what you wear. When I’m all dressed up for cold, I basically don’t even notice it. Such great pics as well, just love your blog!

  14. I think you hit the nail on the head…dressing in layers and appropriately warm is key to having an enjoyable outdoors experience. For me it is key to keep my feet and fingers warm. The wind is what gets me. All that being said, I’d still call myself a weather weenie…I prefer warm to cold. This winter we’ve had so many below freezing days here in the Southeast. I can’t remember such a cold winter in the past 10 years. And ironically since things were warming, my location was moved from 7b to 8a. It will be interesting to which plants perished / survived come spring.

    • Layers are a skier’s friend for sure. Ski wear keeps out the wind and I have always had ski coats. I agree with you, we were 6b but I would not doubt we will be down to 5a or b now. Getting to minus temperatures is not our norm. The winter wind up here is what kills off our plants. Mu boxwood is all bronzed from the winds we have been having.

  15. lulu says:

    It is cold in Houston today, and I’m kinda grateful it is also gray because that gives me good excuse to stay inside where it’s warm. There’s not much to photo here on a day like this.

  16. I like your warm weather wear. Stylish and warm.

  17. I got out of the habit of living with really cold weather as we seemed to have several mild winters in a row – then this year is sort of a throwback to an old fashioned frigid winter.

    • I think we all have to a point. I was beginning to really miss the snow having a few years of hardly any. I have been in Chicago three years in January for the housewares show back in the eighties, so I do remember the wind, snow and frigid temperatures. You did get it good back then.

  18. mariekeates says:

    They do say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothes. Our winter here has been very warm and very, very wet. The rain is the one type of weather I struggle with because I wear glasses. In the rain I can’t see.

    • Gweenie said the same. I do wonder how things will change for next summer. Will it be drought here as it has been? Or will we be inundated by rains which has happened before? It seems like the easy-going weather is a thing of the past.

  19. We have had 5 extremely cold Winters in a row but this one is extremely “hot” !

    • Strange weather no? It seems like more to come too. Today we are getting blasted with snow and wind. While not an unusual occurrence for here, it has not been happening in the last number of years. I do miss having the cold weather, but the minus temperatures I wish were more like just below freezing.

  20. Scott Weber says:

    Well, luckily it never really gets cold here in Portland…even our recent cold spell in December wasn’t honestly THAT cold. Still…I get quite a few odd glances from neighbors when I’m out in the middle of winter in my PJ’s, taking pictures of dead plants ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. This is too funny. Donna-only a true gardener and photographer knows that no matter what the temperature we are still determined to somehow get out there and take it all in. Your post is so informative and made me smile with the photos of all your gear to go outside. I think we all appreciate what you do here and enjoy all your amazing posts!

  22. I dress in layers to capture the beauty at the sea I can not stay cooped up ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

  23. reeality28 says:

    I love this post! Thank you. I keep trying to explain to people how this cold doesn’t mean there isn’t climate change and I think you summed it up better than I have been.

  24. Les says:

    I absolutely cringe when I hear conservative pundits claim global warming or climate change is false based on one cold winter. This is not the case across the globe this winter, mainly North America, and I just heard today that 2013 was the 7th warmest year ever recorded.

    • I just don’t understand it either. Do people not see what is happening worldwide on TV – or in their own towns? Do they have short memories? I think it is happening far faster than science has even predicted in long range studies. The extremes are going to make believers of even the pundits.

  25. Tony says:

    I’m no Weather Weenie, I truly embrace it. Having said that, it’s rare that a segment of the PV reaches our shores over here in the UK, but occasionally we do get true Arctic blasts. I love weather in its rightful season, cold and snow in Winter, sunshine and showers in Spring, occasional heat waves in Summer and storms in Autumn is how it should be over in the UK, however climate change has put paid to this predictability I guess.

    Best Wishes


  26. I have never minded the cold and I do remember when we had these cold, cold winters…I like to get out but sadly this winter I have been ill and not out much…

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