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It's that time of the year again. It gets colder, stays dark longer. Time for hot cocoa, snowmen and Christmas. Here are a few tips on how to get through Winter.

Safety Measures
First and foremost, winter has its own dangers, like every other season. I'd like to give some advice to prevent the worst from happening.
Frozen Streets: You can't avoid frozen patches, not completely. If you have reason to belief that the ground is frozen, you can do some things to prevent slipping. If you drive a car, drive slowly. Four wheels means that it is stable enough and won't roll over. If you drive a bike or a motor cycle, either drive very slowly and carefully, or get off and push (again, you are more stable that way). If you walk, do small steps, always keeping your weight on the leg that's currently on the floor.
Cold: The cold is the most dangerous element of winter. Wind carries away the body heat, and limbs can freeze off all too quickly. If your body temperature drops below thirty degrees Celsius, your life is endangered. If you find somebody else or start shivering uncontrollably yourself, get out of the cold as fast as possible. Quick measures against freezing are several layers of blankets, warm drinks and warm baths (not hot though. Forty degrees Celsius at most). Avoid heating up too fast, or circulatory collapses can occur.
Frozen Lakes: Stay away from frozen lakes as much as possible. Ice is tricky, and unless the lake has been cleared for ice skating, stay away. The danger of breaking through the ice and ending in the water below is too great. Even if the water in itself is warmer than the surrounding air, soggy clothes drain the body of every last bit of warmth near instantly. Unprotected bodies will die within fifteen minutes in frigid waters. Additionally, soaked clothes draw a human below, making swimming difficult to near impossible.
In case you witness someone breaking through the ice, you have to help immediately. In times of mobile phones, set off an emergency call first. Call for help and/or help yourself. Don't walk across the ice, lay flat on your belly and try to get as close as possible. If possible, avoid grabbing the victim yourself, rather use a long sturdy branch, or other long items like ladders or even sleds for them to hold to. If that is not possible, carefully caterpillar to the edge of the hole, mindful of any suspicious noises. Once you have the victim, pull back (hopefully, there should be some people around who help you).
If you get them out, get them to land and remove their clothes as much as possible. Wrap them in pieces of your own clothes, blankets, towels, whatever you can get so they aren't wet anymore. Proceed with getting them inside and start with warming them back up again.
Avalanches: Sadly, there is no way to completely banish the danger of avalanches. The only things you can do is to avoid steep mountain slopes, especially mountain slopes after snow fall and without any trees. Trees are the best defense against avalanches, the more the better. If you get caught in an avalanche, then don't bother trying to outrun it. Fast avalanches can reach up to 300 kilometers per hour, too fast for anything to get away from it. The safest bet is to get away from it towards the side (i.e swerve off the track with your ski or snowboard and try to get behind boulders or into higher areas). If that is impossible, try to curl up into a ball and protect your head. Not saying you will survive, especially given that there could be all types of debris in the snow, and the snow itself is most likely like concrete; but your chances might be increased through it. You can't dig out of it anyways, so all you can do is try to stay warm. Peeing yourself is helpful, as it attracts search dogs. But other than that, stay away from mountains that are known to produce avalanches.
If there is a warning from avalanches- Keep away from the area. No joke.
Driving: Drive slowly. Always keep an eye out for the other people on the street. Sunglasses help with increasing the contrast and improving the sight.
Blizzards and Snow Storms: These things are horrid. The cold winds can push previously comfortable low temperatures towards life threatening. Don't ignore a storm warning. Stay inside. If that is not possible, take cover. Anything can provide shelter- thick trees, hiding at the roots, sheds, even snow drifts. If you are caught outside, the best and safest bet is to go down. Dig a hole, get into the snow and wait there until it is over.

Health
The cold itself doesn't affect the human immune system. Getting sick because you were freezing is actually a legend, even though there is a kernel of truth.
First and foremost, if it is cold, people will avoid going outside and rather crowd inside with poor ventilation. This of course makes it easy for germs to be spread. If possible, avoid crowds.
Secondly, the cold air is dry, even the heated air inside is dry. This dries up the nasal mucous membrane (and the throat a little), which reduces the natural resistance towards germs. The skin also gets itchy and tears easier, allowing for a direct access into the bloodstream. While there's no real chance to avoid it on the outside (asides from wrapping a scarf around mouth and nose), inside one can put water bowls on the radiators and/or keep house plants nearby for humidity, and use fatty skin lotions for dry and itchy skin.
Thirdly, cold-induced health problems like frostbites. Can easily be prevented by dressing appropriately and keeping dry.
Fourth, the mental aspect. It's no joke, if you just think you might get sick, the chances are you will. Mind over body, right? The opposite works too, if you believe yourself to become healthy, you actually heal faster.
Dealing with sickness: Avoid human contact as much as possible. Don't go to work if you're sick. On one hand, to avoid getting loaded with even more germs (and stress), and on the other to prevent others catching your sickness.
Sleep a lot, sleeping is basically the human's equivalent to 'Shut off and switch on again'. Keep warm the entire time. Baths help wonderfully, humid and warm air blast your nose free in no time.
You won't be hungry most of the time, so eating isn't really on top of your list. Stay hydrated however, so drink more than usual. 
Vitamins help boosting the immune system, but only when you aren't sick. Vaccines can end up getting worse because they don't cure a disease, but rather immunize against it- if you have it already, you immunize yourself.
Monitor yourself. If it gets bad, get medical help as fast as possible.

Dressing the right way
Listen to your mom when she says to wear more. The most efficient principle is the Onion principle. Meaning- layers. As many layers as possible. Undershirt, T-Shirt, sweatshirt, vest, hoodie, jacket. Long underpants, thermal underpants, water-resistant outer pants. Water-resistant boots, several socks at once. Gloves, or several gloves if you manage - mittens keep warmer than gloves, so take both if it's really cold. Scarves and hats, long enough to cover ears, nose and mouth when it gets really cold. Never forget: If it gets too warm you can always shed a layer or more, but if you are under-dressed, you are under-dressed.
If you wear fur coats, don't wear them with the fur outside. Wear them with the fur inside, or better, with fur on both sides- the outer layer to break the wind and the inner layer to keep the warmth.
On the same note, a hat is not necessary if it isn't too cold. People always claim that you'll lose fifty percent of your body temperature through the head, so it would mean if you are bundled in tons of layers you'll be just as warm if you were completely nude with just a hat. It's stupid if you think about it.
Also, try to keep piercings of all kind as covered as possible. Metal is a wonderful conductor for heat and will leech your body temperature out within a short time, leading to frostbites very quickly.

Preparations
No winter is like the other. Make sure you are prepared for the worst.
If you have a fireplace, stock up in wood and/or coal. Keep some bottled water around, check your plumbing whether it is secure from freezing, check your electrical connection, your gas pipes- everything that's vital for your comfort. If you know your infrastructure sucks (looking at you, US), then invest in a generator that can be fueled with gasoline to keep at least the vital parts of your home running.
As for foods- meats and fats are ideal, because they can be converted fastest into energy needed to keep your metabolism upright. Dried fruit and nuts supply the body with vitamins and minerals, so stock up on those too. Keep enough preserved food ready to last at least a week.

What to pay attention to in buildings
The most basic rule is- insulation is the key. Old buildings with walls thicker than one meter usually don't need additional insulation (on the contrary, it could lead to condensation and mold). Modern buildings with thin walls need to be insulated, even if you live in areas that usually don't have very cold days (because 'usually' doesn't meant 'never'). Insulation also includes the roof, so make sure you don't lose heat through there- Styrofoam beneath the rafters and keep away the cold and trap heat. Double-layered windows are good, three-layered windows even more so. Shutters and blinds keep wind and snow away from the windows. Again, make sure your plumbing is frost-free (at least two meters in the ground), or you can expect problems.
Control your roof regularly. In case of flat roofs, try to clear snow off as much as possible to avoid structural damage. In case of sloped roofs, snow fences along the lower end to avoid roof avalanches.
If you have a chimney, check whether it's free from obstructions to avoid Carbon Dioxide buildup inside your home. Control your heater before it gets cold (i.e let it run and check whether it gets warm) to make sure you can still have them fixed if something is amiss. Most radiators need to be ventilated from time to time to remove excess air from the circulation. You'll only need to heat the rooms you spend most time in- kitchen, bathroom and workspace more, bed rooms less (unless you also work in your bed room). Rule over the thumb: In a several-story-building, the levels in the middle are warmest.
Most of all, don't forget to ventilate the room regularly. Opening all windows for at least five minutes daily prevents mold and brings in fresh air.

Preparing your car
Most people value their car more than everything else. So of course, you have to make sure it is in top condition even during winter time.
Tires: I know there are Four-Season-Treads out there. Don't use them. They need more gas than summer tires and aren't as secure on snow as winter tires. Make appointments with the garage of your choosing and let them change your tires (German rule: 'Von O bis O', From October to Easter ('Ostern' in German)). The positive side effect is that they can check whether anything is amiss too.
Liquids: Check your on-car liquids, even in winter. Oil, Brake fluid, cooling fluid. Especially in the latter case, use antifreeze liquid. However, even antifreeze won't work forever and in temperatures under twenty degrees Celsius, leave the car behind to avoid damage.
Battery: Technically, a battery shouldn't have too many problems with the cold, though if you aren't sure, remove it and store it inside until you need it.
Salt: Road Salt is poison not only to nature, but cars too. In winter, there isn't much you can do against it, but as soon it turns warm, you need to have your car cleaned, especially along the bottom to remove salt clinging to it and prevent corrosion.
Clear surface: I know most people hate it, but if your car is frosted over, you need to clear the windows. And it is not enough to just free a little area to look through- it is a law to make sure you have at least eighty percent of your windows free of ice. And I mean here before you start driving at all, not starting to drive and then let the window heater do its job. That is dangerous not only to you, but everybody else around. Additionally, if there is a lot of snow on your roof, clear it away too as much as possible, or else you risk a roof avalanche. Especially truck drivers should always make sure that no snow is on their trucks- because snow may also include ice, and when the sheet of ice comes loose in a curve, for example, it could seriously injure or outright kill pedestrians, bikers or damage cars.
If you complain about getting cold fingers when scraping your car free- gloves have been invented for exactly that purpose.
Sliding: If you drive and you lose your grip, don't panic. The most important thing is to get off the accelerator and kick the brakes as hard as you can. Lock your hands to the steering wheel, but do not tear it around or try to counter-steer. Cars are made for frontal crashs, but not for overturning. So try to stay in a wide curve or in a straight line (even if you end up besides the road). Same goes for encountering animals on the street or floating from too much water.

Clearing away snow
When your driveway is snowed in, when you can't reach the mail box; then it is time to remove the excess snow.
At first, you'll need a snow shovel. Shovel away the white crap and free a pathway. You can either scrape down to the ground, or leave a layer of snow which can be stepped into a hardened layer. If it is cold enough, it won't turn to ice.
Now you can use additional materials like sand, ash or stone chips to increase grip. Avoid salt, however. Salt damages vehicles, plants, asphalt and even buildings. Salt hurts the paws of animals and leaves unsightly tracks behind on building floors. Plus, all thaw salts only work until minus five to ten degrees Celsius. In other words: if it is colder than that, the salt will first thaw the snow on the ground, then freeze again, turning into a wonderfully slippery surface. Don't use salt.

Nature and Gardening
Winter time is hibernation time. Not only for animals, but also plants.
Animals: Not all animals hibernate, and those that don't would appreciate a little help. You can offer this help by giving food. Especially birds will profit from this. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, linseeds, coconut meat and dried berries mixed with goose or pig lard make perfect buffets for all kind of birds. Put them up where predators like cats can't reach and just watch how your garden becomes attractive to all kind of birds. If you want, you can keep on feeding throughout the year, and you can install nesting helps for spring, because most birds usually check up potential nest areas already in winter.
For hibernating animals, you can also make some preparations for winter. Don't remove fallen leaves- if at most, push it into a pile in some corner of your yard, dry corners are best, by the way. Build small houses or buy small animal shelters for critters like dormice and hedgehogs. A compost heap offers a lot of arthropod animals shelter for the winter, and you might even attract snakes or other rare vertebrates. Every bit helps the natural diversity.
Plants: Hobby gardeners often wrong their plants. The easiest way to help your garden to get through winter is by doing as little as possible. Leaves can be left on the grass and flower beds. Not only do the leaves offer some shielding from the cold, but they also keep moisture where the plants need it. Don't cut back bushes, tall shrubs or dried-off stalks of other plants. Leave them as they are, as they are shelter for countless animals. Once spring rolls around, you can tidy up your garden, but leave it messy for winter. Pile up leaves and mulch around the roots of larger plants (especially shrubs and trees), and cover up the trunks of trees that aren't used to cold weathers. Remove tropical plants from the open and place them either in the cellar for hibernation, or drag them into warm places like your house or a green house.

Beating the Winter Blues
A lot of people get depressed in winter. Short periods of light coupled with cold and darkness apparently make them sad (I don't understand this, because Winter is my favorite season).
So to beat the winter blues, here are a few tips:
-Going outside when it is day helps a lot. Even with an overcast sky your body can still produce the hormone Serotonin which is vital for a large number of biological processes in the body and lifts the spirit.
-Ventilating the room so fresh air replaces the stale helps waking up and getting ready for the day.
-Hot chocolate- while it contains serotonin, it doesn't make happy because of it. It makes happy because it is sweet.
-Don't be a wuss. No really. If you roll around in bed and whine about being sad, nothing will change. Get out and do something. You'll feel a lot better.

  • Listening to: Game OSTs
  • Reading: One Piece, various Webcomics, Agatha Christie
  • Watching: Cutscenes from Games, Cartoons
  • Playing: Skyrim, Sacred, Fallout NV, Prototype, Pharao
  • Eating: Anything that's on the table
  • Drinking: Peppermint Tea

deviantID

DragonlordRynn
Rynn
Germany
Current Residence: Home. Mostly in my sister's room at the large desk we share.
Favourite genre of music: Anything I like
Favourite style of art: Pencil+Paper, Corel Photopaint 12. Drawing People as Animals or Monsters mostly
Side Accounts: Fanfiction.net and Archieve of our own, both with the same name: DragonlordRynn
Interests

Activity


It's that time of the year again. It gets colder, stays dark longer. Time for hot cocoa, snowmen and Christmas. Here are a few tips on how to get through Winter.

Safety Measures
First and foremost, winter has its own dangers, like every other season. I'd like to give some advice to prevent the worst from happening.
Frozen Streets: You can't avoid frozen patches, not completely. If you have reason to belief that the ground is frozen, you can do some things to prevent slipping. If you drive a car, drive slowly. Four wheels means that it is stable enough and won't roll over. If you drive a bike or a motor cycle, either drive very slowly and carefully, or get off and push (again, you are more stable that way). If you walk, do small steps, always keeping your weight on the leg that's currently on the floor.
Cold: The cold is the most dangerous element of winter. Wind carries away the body heat, and limbs can freeze off all too quickly. If your body temperature drops below thirty degrees Celsius, your life is endangered. If you find somebody else or start shivering uncontrollably yourself, get out of the cold as fast as possible. Quick measures against freezing are several layers of blankets, warm drinks and warm baths (not hot though. Forty degrees Celsius at most). Avoid heating up too fast, or circulatory collapses can occur.
Frozen Lakes: Stay away from frozen lakes as much as possible. Ice is tricky, and unless the lake has been cleared for ice skating, stay away. The danger of breaking through the ice and ending in the water below is too great. Even if the water in itself is warmer than the surrounding air, soggy clothes drain the body of every last bit of warmth near instantly. Unprotected bodies will die within fifteen minutes in frigid waters. Additionally, soaked clothes draw a human below, making swimming difficult to near impossible.
In case you witness someone breaking through the ice, you have to help immediately. In times of mobile phones, set off an emergency call first. Call for help and/or help yourself. Don't walk across the ice, lay flat on your belly and try to get as close as possible. If possible, avoid grabbing the victim yourself, rather use a long sturdy branch, or other long items like ladders or even sleds for them to hold to. If that is not possible, carefully caterpillar to the edge of the hole, mindful of any suspicious noises. Once you have the victim, pull back (hopefully, there should be some people around who help you).
If you get them out, get them to land and remove their clothes as much as possible. Wrap them in pieces of your own clothes, blankets, towels, whatever you can get so they aren't wet anymore. Proceed with getting them inside and start with warming them back up again.
Avalanches: Sadly, there is no way to completely banish the danger of avalanches. The only things you can do is to avoid steep mountain slopes, especially mountain slopes after snow fall and without any trees. Trees are the best defense against avalanches, the more the better. If you get caught in an avalanche, then don't bother trying to outrun it. Fast avalanches can reach up to 300 kilometers per hour, too fast for anything to get away from it. The safest bet is to get away from it towards the side (i.e swerve off the track with your ski or snowboard and try to get behind boulders or into higher areas). If that is impossible, try to curl up into a ball and protect your head. Not saying you will survive, especially given that there could be all types of debris in the snow, and the snow itself is most likely like concrete; but your chances might be increased through it. You can't dig out of it anyways, so all you can do is try to stay warm. Peeing yourself is helpful, as it attracts search dogs. But other than that, stay away from mountains that are known to produce avalanches.
If there is a warning from avalanches- Keep away from the area. No joke.
Driving: Drive slowly. Always keep an eye out for the other people on the street. Sunglasses help with increasing the contrast and improving the sight.
Blizzards and Snow Storms: These things are horrid. The cold winds can push previously comfortable low temperatures towards life threatening. Don't ignore a storm warning. Stay inside. If that is not possible, take cover. Anything can provide shelter- thick trees, hiding at the roots, sheds, even snow drifts. If you are caught outside, the best and safest bet is to go down. Dig a hole, get into the snow and wait there until it is over.

Health
The cold itself doesn't affect the human immune system. Getting sick because you were freezing is actually a legend, even though there is a kernel of truth.
First and foremost, if it is cold, people will avoid going outside and rather crowd inside with poor ventilation. This of course makes it easy for germs to be spread. If possible, avoid crowds.
Secondly, the cold air is dry, even the heated air inside is dry. This dries up the nasal mucous membrane (and the throat a little), which reduces the natural resistance towards germs. The skin also gets itchy and tears easier, allowing for a direct access into the bloodstream. While there's no real chance to avoid it on the outside (asides from wrapping a scarf around mouth and nose), inside one can put water bowls on the radiators and/or keep house plants nearby for humidity, and use fatty skin lotions for dry and itchy skin.
Thirdly, cold-induced health problems like frostbites. Can easily be prevented by dressing appropriately and keeping dry.
Fourth, the mental aspect. It's no joke, if you just think you might get sick, the chances are you will. Mind over body, right? The opposite works too, if you believe yourself to become healthy, you actually heal faster.
Dealing with sickness: Avoid human contact as much as possible. Don't go to work if you're sick. On one hand, to avoid getting loaded with even more germs (and stress), and on the other to prevent others catching your sickness.
Sleep a lot, sleeping is basically the human's equivalent to 'Shut off and switch on again'. Keep warm the entire time. Baths help wonderfully, humid and warm air blast your nose free in no time.
You won't be hungry most of the time, so eating isn't really on top of your list. Stay hydrated however, so drink more than usual. 
Vitamins help boosting the immune system, but only when you aren't sick. Vaccines can end up getting worse because they don't cure a disease, but rather immunize against it- if you have it already, you immunize yourself.
Monitor yourself. If it gets bad, get medical help as fast as possible.

Dressing the right way
Listen to your mom when she says to wear more. The most efficient principle is the Onion principle. Meaning- layers. As many layers as possible. Undershirt, T-Shirt, sweatshirt, vest, hoodie, jacket. Long underpants, thermal underpants, water-resistant outer pants. Water-resistant boots, several socks at once. Gloves, or several gloves if you manage - mittens keep warmer than gloves, so take both if it's really cold. Scarves and hats, long enough to cover ears, nose and mouth when it gets really cold. Never forget: If it gets too warm you can always shed a layer or more, but if you are under-dressed, you are under-dressed.
If you wear fur coats, don't wear them with the fur outside. Wear them with the fur inside, or better, with fur on both sides- the outer layer to break the wind and the inner layer to keep the warmth.
On the same note, a hat is not necessary if it isn't too cold. People always claim that you'll lose fifty percent of your body temperature through the head, so it would mean if you are bundled in tons of layers you'll be just as warm if you were completely nude with just a hat. It's stupid if you think about it.
Also, try to keep piercings of all kind as covered as possible. Metal is a wonderful conductor for heat and will leech your body temperature out within a short time, leading to frostbites very quickly.

Preparations
No winter is like the other. Make sure you are prepared for the worst.
If you have a fireplace, stock up in wood and/or coal. Keep some bottled water around, check your plumbing whether it is secure from freezing, check your electrical connection, your gas pipes- everything that's vital for your comfort. If you know your infrastructure sucks (looking at you, US), then invest in a generator that can be fueled with gasoline to keep at least the vital parts of your home running.
As for foods- meats and fats are ideal, because they can be converted fastest into energy needed to keep your metabolism upright. Dried fruit and nuts supply the body with vitamins and minerals, so stock up on those too. Keep enough preserved food ready to last at least a week.

What to pay attention to in buildings
The most basic rule is- insulation is the key. Old buildings with walls thicker than one meter usually don't need additional insulation (on the contrary, it could lead to condensation and mold). Modern buildings with thin walls need to be insulated, even if you live in areas that usually don't have very cold days (because 'usually' doesn't meant 'never'). Insulation also includes the roof, so make sure you don't lose heat through there- Styrofoam beneath the rafters and keep away the cold and trap heat. Double-layered windows are good, three-layered windows even more so. Shutters and blinds keep wind and snow away from the windows. Again, make sure your plumbing is frost-free (at least two meters in the ground), or you can expect problems.
Control your roof regularly. In case of flat roofs, try to clear snow off as much as possible to avoid structural damage. In case of sloped roofs, snow fences along the lower end to avoid roof avalanches.
If you have a chimney, check whether it's free from obstructions to avoid Carbon Dioxide buildup inside your home. Control your heater before it gets cold (i.e let it run and check whether it gets warm) to make sure you can still have them fixed if something is amiss. Most radiators need to be ventilated from time to time to remove excess air from the circulation. You'll only need to heat the rooms you spend most time in- kitchen, bathroom and workspace more, bed rooms less (unless you also work in your bed room). Rule over the thumb: In a several-story-building, the levels in the middle are warmest.
Most of all, don't forget to ventilate the room regularly. Opening all windows for at least five minutes daily prevents mold and brings in fresh air.

Preparing your car
Most people value their car more than everything else. So of course, you have to make sure it is in top condition even during winter time.
Tires: I know there are Four-Season-Treads out there. Don't use them. They need more gas than summer tires and aren't as secure on snow as winter tires. Make appointments with the garage of your choosing and let them change your tires (German rule: 'Von O bis O', From October to Easter ('Ostern' in German)). The positive side effect is that they can check whether anything is amiss too.
Liquids: Check your on-car liquids, even in winter. Oil, Brake fluid, cooling fluid. Especially in the latter case, use antifreeze liquid. However, even antifreeze won't work forever and in temperatures under twenty degrees Celsius, leave the car behind to avoid damage.
Battery: Technically, a battery shouldn't have too many problems with the cold, though if you aren't sure, remove it and store it inside until you need it.
Salt: Road Salt is poison not only to nature, but cars too. In winter, there isn't much you can do against it, but as soon it turns warm, you need to have your car cleaned, especially along the bottom to remove salt clinging to it and prevent corrosion.
Clear surface: I know most people hate it, but if your car is frosted over, you need to clear the windows. And it is not enough to just free a little area to look through- it is a law to make sure you have at least eighty percent of your windows free of ice. And I mean here before you start driving at all, not starting to drive and then let the window heater do its job. That is dangerous not only to you, but everybody else around. Additionally, if there is a lot of snow on your roof, clear it away too as much as possible, or else you risk a roof avalanche. Especially truck drivers should always make sure that no snow is on their trucks- because snow may also include ice, and when the sheet of ice comes loose in a curve, for example, it could seriously injure or outright kill pedestrians, bikers or damage cars.
If you complain about getting cold fingers when scraping your car free- gloves have been invented for exactly that purpose.
Sliding: If you drive and you lose your grip, don't panic. The most important thing is to get off the accelerator and kick the brakes as hard as you can. Lock your hands to the steering wheel, but do not tear it around or try to counter-steer. Cars are made for frontal crashs, but not for overturning. So try to stay in a wide curve or in a straight line (even if you end up besides the road). Same goes for encountering animals on the street or floating from too much water.

Clearing away snow
When your driveway is snowed in, when you can't reach the mail box; then it is time to remove the excess snow.
At first, you'll need a snow shovel. Shovel away the white crap and free a pathway. You can either scrape down to the ground, or leave a layer of snow which can be stepped into a hardened layer. If it is cold enough, it won't turn to ice.
Now you can use additional materials like sand, ash or stone chips to increase grip. Avoid salt, however. Salt damages vehicles, plants, asphalt and even buildings. Salt hurts the paws of animals and leaves unsightly tracks behind on building floors. Plus, all thaw salts only work until minus five to ten degrees Celsius. In other words: if it is colder than that, the salt will first thaw the snow on the ground, then freeze again, turning into a wonderfully slippery surface. Don't use salt.

Nature and Gardening
Winter time is hibernation time. Not only for animals, but also plants.
Animals: Not all animals hibernate, and those that don't would appreciate a little help. You can offer this help by giving food. Especially birds will profit from this. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, linseeds, coconut meat and dried berries mixed with goose or pig lard make perfect buffets for all kind of birds. Put them up where predators like cats can't reach and just watch how your garden becomes attractive to all kind of birds. If you want, you can keep on feeding throughout the year, and you can install nesting helps for spring, because most birds usually check up potential nest areas already in winter.
For hibernating animals, you can also make some preparations for winter. Don't remove fallen leaves- if at most, push it into a pile in some corner of your yard, dry corners are best, by the way. Build small houses or buy small animal shelters for critters like dormice and hedgehogs. A compost heap offers a lot of arthropod animals shelter for the winter, and you might even attract snakes or other rare vertebrates. Every bit helps the natural diversity.
Plants: Hobby gardeners often wrong their plants. The easiest way to help your garden to get through winter is by doing as little as possible. Leaves can be left on the grass and flower beds. Not only do the leaves offer some shielding from the cold, but they also keep moisture where the plants need it. Don't cut back bushes, tall shrubs or dried-off stalks of other plants. Leave them as they are, as they are shelter for countless animals. Once spring rolls around, you can tidy up your garden, but leave it messy for winter. Pile up leaves and mulch around the roots of larger plants (especially shrubs and trees), and cover up the trunks of trees that aren't used to cold weathers. Remove tropical plants from the open and place them either in the cellar for hibernation, or drag them into warm places like your house or a green house.

Beating the Winter Blues
A lot of people get depressed in winter. Short periods of light coupled with cold and darkness apparently make them sad (I don't understand this, because Winter is my favorite season).
So to beat the winter blues, here are a few tips:
-Going outside when it is day helps a lot. Even with an overcast sky your body can still produce the hormone Serotonin which is vital for a large number of biological processes in the body and lifts the spirit.
-Ventilating the room so fresh air replaces the stale helps waking up and getting ready for the day.
-Hot chocolate- while it contains serotonin, it doesn't make happy because of it. It makes happy because it is sweet.
-Don't be a wuss. No really. If you roll around in bed and whine about being sad, nothing will change. Get out and do something. You'll feel a lot better.

  • Listening to: Game OSTs
  • Reading: One Piece, various Webcomics, Agatha Christie
  • Watching: Cutscenes from Games, Cartoons
  • Playing: Skyrim, Sacred, Fallout NV, Prototype, Pharao
  • Eating: Anything that's on the table
  • Drinking: Peppermint Tea
Dovahkiin Terus Lemendi
You can guess which faction my sister and I prefer when playing Skyrim.
Also, restarting Skyrim and playing through is more fun than hanging around and trying to find something to do when everything is done already.

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:iconperfectchaos22:
PerfectChaos22 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Random Question

But in your Realistic Pokemon drawings

What did you make Pawniard and Bisharp into?
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:icondragonlordrynn:
DragonlordRynn Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2018
Bipedal Owls.
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:iconperfectchaos22:
PerfectChaos22 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Aren't owls always bipedal? XD
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:icondragonlordrynn:
Technically yes. But since humans are bipedal too and owls kind of squat, I mainly use the term for 'human-like'.
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:icondanman22ful:
Danman22ful Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2018  Hobbyist
Reply
:icondragonlordrynn:
DragonlordRynn Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2018
Too small. Too many emoticons. didn't read.
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:icondanman22ful:
Danman22ful Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2018  Hobbyist
Don’t worry about it.
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:iconperfectchaos22:
PerfectChaos22 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Hey, i wanted to get your opinion on this skull for a fictional species of animal I made

www.deviantart.com/perfectchao…

To give a brief summary, basically its teeth are serrated and like a sawblade and rather than having teeth rooted in its mouth, they're held in place by muscles that expand and contract rapidy that vibrate the teeth rapidly as well as other muscles that move the teeth back and fourth

The idea is that, it evolved that kind of dental work to cut through the skin of animals that developed a thick hide that isn't easy to bite through, but in some cases, i can go right through the bones and hard tendons of prey

Basically it evolved a Turkey Carver in its mouth

You're pretty good with animal anatomy so I figured you might be able to give me advice
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:icondragonlordrynn:
DragonlordRynn Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2018
Mhm. The skull itself says that it already has a very strong bite (short jaws, high forhead for muscles). And it is pretty useless to not have teeth anchored firmly in the skull. I'd think it would be better if the jaw was seperate (like a snake's skull) with all the parts being able to be moved on their own. In that way, it could hold on to its prey, while also cracking the hide by moving the parts in a saw-like motion back and forth.
Which means that its teeth should best be triangular with serrated edges.
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:iconperfectchaos22:
PerfectChaos22 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
OMG why didn't i think about Snakes

the animal the skull comes from is a descendent of Mustelids like Stoats, weasels like them are like furry little snake cats with legs XD

So, perhaps the bottom jaw would dehinge? and the muscles would pull the jaws back and fourth while the top jaw is going in a downward motion, digging and cutting into the flesh

and perhaps the neck jerks back in preparation to pull the flesh off and it also speeds up the process a bit

With this animal, its prey are basically rhino rabbits that look and act like Ground Sloths

It jumps on their back, cuts off a chunk of them and retreats and repreats the process every few hours til it gets full, so basically it has to be quick to prevent it from being attacked
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