23 January 1857

by layman k

Jan 23. “The coldest day that I can remember recording, clear and bright, but very high wind, blowing the snow. Ink froze. Had to break the ice in my pail with a hammer.  Thermometer at 6.45A .M ., -18°; at 10.30, -14° (Smith’s, -20° ; Wilds’, -7°, the last being in a more sheltered place); at 12.45, -9°; at 4 P . M., -5 1/2′; at 7.30 P.M., -8°. I may safely say that -5° has been the highest temperature today by our thermometer.

Walking this afternoon, I notice that the face inclines to stiffen, and the hands and feet get cold soon. On first coming out in very cold weather, I find that I breathe fast, though without walking faster or exerting myself any more than usual.

from the journals of Henry David Thoreau