It was so cold this morning—I had two below for the minimum—that a number of places actually cancelled their "polar plunges" and told would-be leapers into the Atlantic to stay home to avoid not just frostbite but sudden death. That certainly made sense to Stasia, who, upon hearing the news, shook her sleepy head and asked the obvious question: "Why on Earth do they do that?" I answered that it was a tradition to raise money for charity. She shook her head again and declared, "They could just give money, right?" Indeed they could, I answered, as the thermometer finally crept into positive territory. The Rhododendron leaf "thermometer" did not, however, make the climb, too. Tightly rolled Rhodie leaves are a sign of ferocious lows. The behavior is known to botanists as thermonasty, and as far as the cigared leaves are concerned, the new year started off as thermonastic as possible.