How cold is it, really?

Thermometer at the back of the Manse

The other morning, our trusty – or not-so-trusty? – thermometer told us it was about -20 outside. Our second thermometer, in a different location, had a much different story to tell. Was either of them right?

You faithful readers know very well how attached I am to the way things used to be at the Manse. It is such an amazing experience to be able to return to, and live in once again, the house that you grew up in!

Anyway, because you are well aware of my attachment to the olden days in this house – my childhood in the 1960s and early 1970s, when, as I said in my very first post, all the world was young – you won’t be surprised to know that when Raymond and I bought a thermometer for the place, I instructed him – or perhaps I should say “strongly urged,” though he would tell you that “instructed” is more accurate – to install it in exactly the same place as the thermometer used to be in my childhood: outside the rear window of the kitchen.

And so he did, and that’s what you see in the photo at the top of this post.

But not too many winter days after that installation, we began to get a little suspicious of the readings from that thermometer. They seemed awfully low. And that probably wasn’t surprising, since that particular location, on the west side of the house, is in shade in the early morning – which is when one tends to look at the thermometer.

So a while later, Raymond (being clever) went out and bought another thermometer, and installed it outside the front window of the kitchen – where it is sunny in the morning, because it faces east. And that thermometer tells quite a different story! Here is a photo of that front-of-the-house thermometer that I took precisely 10 seconds after the photo above, the one that showed the temperature as being -20:

Thermometer at the front of the Manse

Two thermometers, two very different stories: right after I took the photo at the top of this post, I crossed the kitchen and took this photo of our second thermometer. Apparently in those 10 seconds the temperature had climbed more than 20 degrees!

Okay, that’s crazy! Even allowing for more morning sun on the east-facing thermometer than on the west-facing one, can there really be more than 20 degrees’ difference?

I am beginning to think we need a third thermometer.

2 thoughts on “How cold is it, really?

  1. That’s so funny–we’re having the exact same discussion here! I loves me a thermometer visible from the kitchen, but ours (identical to your top one) is in a sheltered spot on the west side. I think the temperature reading in the morning is close, but on a sunny afternoon this week, it insisted it was 20 degrees outside. Plus 20.

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