Annie's Winter Symbols & Things Page

"Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast
summer and winter."
~Psalm 74:17~

Here is what you will learn about on this winter page:

Gloves & Mittens
What is the temperature outside? Learn about Fahrenheit & Celius
Birds and Migration
How Plants Pass the Winter
Animal & Insect Migration
The First Winter for the Pilgrims

Sources for this page are: The World Book & Compton's Encyclopedia

Gloves and Mittens

Glove is a protective or decorative covering for the hand. It has a separate sheath for each
finger. The word glove comes from an Anglo-Saxon term that means palm of the hand.

Archaeologists claim that prehistoric cave dwellers wore crude gloves. Workers in ancient Egypt,
Greece, and Rome wore gloves to protect their hands during rough work.

During the Middle Ages, most Europeans wore mittens. Only the wealthy wore gloves, which were
often decorated with embroidery and jewels. Armored knights wore gauntlets, or gloves made of
heavy leather covered with plates of steel or iron. Knights often fastened ladies' gloves to their
helmets to show love or devotion.

Gloves of fine leather and silk were a symbol of rank in the 1800's. The spotlessly clean gloves
of people in the upper class showed that they did not have to do manual labor. Women were
expected to wear white gloves for formal dress until the mid-1960's.

Today, gloves are woven or knit from many types of materials. Such natural materials as leather,
fur, silk, cotton, rubber, and wool continue to be used. Gloves are also made from various types
of manufactured fibers, including nylon, acrylic, polyester, polypropylene, and spandex.


Fireplaces. The earliest type of local heating device was the open fire within an enclosure, such
as a cave or a tent. Such a fire is not satisfactory because the area soon becomes filled with
smoke. In addition, an open fire without a chimney lacks enough draft to burn brightly.

If a fireplace is put at one side of a room and provided with a chimney, the smoke and
combustion gases will pass up the chimney. The chimney provides a draft by which the air enters
the front of the fireplace and passes up the chimney to aid the burning of the fuel. However,
this draft reduces the energy efficiency of a fireplace.

A typical fireplace allows enough warm air to escape through the chimney to empty an average
room every few minutes. Because of this air leak, a fireplace may contribute little to the heating
of a room in a house that has a central heating system. Both the fireplace and the central
heating warm the room. However, the amount of heat provided by the fireplace may be only
slightly larger than the amount of centrally provided heat that leaks out.

Fall Fire Safety Tips
World Book Encyclopedia- Preventing and Fighting Fires
Download a FREE
Virtual Fireplace v1.01b - I had trouble opening this but you may not.
Learn2 Freshen a Fireplace & Learn2 Make Your Fireplace Less Smoky & Learn2 Measure a Cord of Firewood & Learn2 Build a Fire in a Fireplace

What is the temperature outside?

Fahrenheit - Gabriel Daniel (1686-1736), a German physicist, developed the Fahrenheit
temperature scale. He also made the thermometer more accurate by using mercury instead of
mixtures of alcohol and water in the thermometer tube.

Fahrenheit determined three fixed temperatures: 0 for the freezing point of ice, salt, and
water; 32 for the freezing point of pure water; and 212 for the boiling point of water. These
three temperatures, from lowest to highest, are equal to -18, 0, and 100 on the Celsius
temperature scale. Fahrenheit was born in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland).

Celcius - Celsius scale, pronounced SEHL see uhs, is a scale for measuring temperature. It is
a part of the metric system of measurement. People in all major countries of the world except
the United States use the Celsius scale for everyday temperature measurement. Scientists
throughout the world also use this temperature scale.

On the Celsius scale, 0 is the freezing point of water, and 100 is the boiling point. The scale
is divided into 100 equal parts between these fixed points. The Celsius scale is sometimes called
the centigrade scale, because this word means "divided into 100 parts." Other important
temperatures on the Celsius scale include 37 (body temperature) and 20 (room temperature).
Temperatures below the freezing point of water have a negative sign in front of them.

The Celsius scale was originally developed in 1742 by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius. It
was later changed and improved. The ninth General Conference of Weights and Measures
officially named the scale the Celsius scale in 1948.

Here is an easy way to convert C to F that my brother-in-law Steve taught me: Just add 15 and
double it.

Related Page: Hypothermia & Cold Weather Injuries

Birds and Migration

Small birds may cross as many as a thousand miles (1,600 kilometers) of water over the Gulf of
Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, and the North Sea.

In some cases the males migrate first. They fly ahead to select the nesting site in preparation
for the arrival of the females. In other cases, males and females travel together and choose
their mates along the way. Geese, which mate for life, travel as couples in large flocks. In the
fall, female shorebirds often depart first, leaving the males to care for the young.

Birds fly faster during migration than during ordinary flying, but their speed depends upon the
conditions through which they fly. Small songbirds may migrate at 20 miles (32 kilometers) per
hour; starlings at 47 miles (76 kilometers) per hour; and ducks, swifts, and hawks at 59 miles
(95 kilometers) per hour. Many birds are capable of speeds that would get them to their
destination in a short time if they flew steadily. But most birds prefer leisurely journeys. After
a flight of six or eight hours, they pause to feed and to rest for one or more days. The
red-backed shrike covers about 600 miles (970 kilometers) in five days, but flies only two
nights. It uses the other three nights for resting and the days for feeding.
In true migration the birds always return to the same area.
Not all birds migrate. Migration is a response to ecological conditions, and birds that migrate do
not differ much physically from those that do not migrate. Before northern winters begin many
birds travel south to warmer climates. ~Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia.~
To learn more about birds visit:
Annie's Bird Page

Animal & Insect Migration

Many people take trips periodically, often seasonally, in search of a fair climate, good food, and
a change of scene in pleasant surroundings. Some animals are impelled to travel for similar
reasons, and their trips, too, are often annual and linked to the seasons. These traveling animals
are called migrants and their trips, migrations.
Ducks migrate south in the winter.

How Insects Spend the Winter

Although the majority of these insects pass the winter in a resting state, some migrate
southward. Each species of insect usually passes the winter in one particular phase of
development. Some butterflies winter as pupae, caterpillars, or eggs. The monarch
migrates long distances southward in the fall; some survive for a return flight in the spring.
Butterflies are in their cocoons.
In the winter some insects may come out of hibernation during brief periods of mild weather.
Honeybees in well-protected hives use their body heat to maintain a hive temperature that
permits them to remain somewhat active and to feed on stored sweets. They leave the hive when
the temperature rises to about 55oF (13o C).
Ants like warmth and swarm out of their nests into the sunshine. But they can be frozen for
long periods without harm. Packed in tight bunches, many spend the winter inside logs and
stumps. Others lie under plant roots or in shallow nests in the ground.
Certain species deepen their nests below the frost line as winter approaches. There they crowd
into their tunnels and chambers with their legs interlocked and sleep through the cold winter.

How Plants Pass the Winter

In summer, plants make and store food in their roots, stems, or seeds. In winter, they rest.
Plants pass the winter in various ways. Annuals flower in the same season that they are planted.
Then, transferring all their reserve food to their seeds, the plants wither and die. Inside the
protective seed covering, the embryonic plant lies dormant until the moisture and warmth of
spring stimulate its growth.

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer and colder, the foodstuffs in the leaves of
perennial plants drain back into the twigs, branches, and trunk. The gradual decrease in
temperature causes changes in the plant tissues that make them more resistant to cold. This
preparation for the upcoming winter months is called hardening. When the chlorophyll
decomposes chemically and becomes colorless, the leaves take on their autumn colors of yellow,
red, and orange. These colors are caused by the presence of pigments other than chlorophyll.
They are always present, but during the summer there is so much more chlorophyll that these
colors are masked.

The First Winter for the Pilgrims

The cruel New England winter had already set in when the Pilgrims landed. While they were
building small dwellings and a storehouse, they had to row through the icy surf to their crowded
quarters on the tossing Mayflower.Thestore of food was low. The Pilgrims were not skilled at
hunting and fishing, nor were they equipped with fishing boats and gear.

Many Pilgrims developed scurvy or pneumonia. At times there were no more than six or seven well
persons to care for the others. Two of these were Elder William Brewster and Captain Miles
Standish, the military leader. Of the band of more than 100 Pilgrims who landed, half were
dead before winter's end.

Send a friend a Celebrate Winter or Snowman Jive ! card.
You can see all the different cards I have available at
Annie's Card Shop.

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