Friday, January 20, 2006
The Crocuses Love January Like Monkeys Love Wine 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
I don't have a picture yet, unfortunately - and tonight's predicted snowfall may obscure the exidence - but something is definitely strange in the Midwest right now. Our weeks of unseasonably mild January weather have acted as an artificial "forcing" environment on the local flora, and the crocuses (croci?) of Hyde Park are beginning to show their fresh green tips above the bare soil. In January.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe Muscovites are freezing - literally. A severe cold spell in Russia (temperatures have dropped as low as -30°F for days) has officially caused the death of several dozen people, pehaps many more. According to Russian news source RIA-Novosti, even the zoo animals need some "liquid warmth":
At a zoo in Lipetsk, south of Moscow, director Alexander Osipov said monkeys would be given wine three times a day "to protect against colds," the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. Rossiya television said a circus sea lion was being treated for pneumonia with brandy body rubs.
And yes, I did doctor the monkey picture to include the wine bottle. However, trying to Photoshop a sea lion receiving a cognac body rub seemed excessive. I do wonder what sort of tipple these Soviet simians prefer?