Many Sides of Mid-Winter at ibiblio

There are “Two Sides of the Face: Midwinter Tales” wrote Arthur Quiller-Couch in 1903 (available from ibiblio-hosted Project Gutenberg), but it still took him 8 stories to cover those two sides and of course, Project Gutenberg makes the book available in several formats.

Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index finds at least 6 versions of “In the Bleak Midwinter” based on the poem by Christina Rossetti but only one “In the Snow of Deep Midwinter” performed by Mrs. Ackroyd and Band recorded on Oranges and Lemmings, Dog 007, LP (1990), trk# A.06.

More practically for some, Hyperwar Project provides information on How to Abandon Ship in Freezing Weather that could be essential including this helpful bit: “The seamen from the torpedoed Norwegian motor tanker Alexandra Hoegh were rescued after 38 hours in open boats during midwinter in the North Atlantic. They reached shore well and healthy. All of them would have been frostbitten, and some of them would have died — if they had not worn life suits.” A short story in itself.

Yellow Poplar

The Plant Information Center, home of the Virtual Herbarium, tells us that “The terminal buds [of the Yellow Poplar} are about 1/2 inch long, flattened and valvate, opening like a duck’s bill. Sprouts and buds are one of the main foods of deer, and squirrels eat yellow poplar seeds in early fall and again in mid-winter.” Handy information if you or your friends are arboreal rodents or very tall deer.

Mid-winter can be a time of despair, but rue not readers. Fiddler know of Midwinter Waltzes and Blossoms from American and Scottish sources via Andrew Kuntz’s Fiddler’s Companion.

Do not end up like young Henry Martin of whom Roger McGuinn sings:

He had not been sailing but a long winter’s night
And a part of a short winter’s day,
Before he espied a stout lofty ship,
lofty ship, lofty ship,
Come abibing down on him straight way.

And quickly turned “turned robber all on the salt sea/ Salt sea, salt sea./ For to maintain [his] brothers and [he]”.