[photo by Gary]
Yesterday here in southern PA a cold front swept through after midnight, bringing cold rain and some wet snow. Higher elevations got more snow; here at my home, elevation 633', the snow was confined to grassy areas and fields.
I elected to empty my wood stove before my run, and since it was wet, could scatter the ashes on a flower bed without any fear of fire. So I carried out the bucket of hot ashes, wearing the leather gloves pictured above, and proceeded to dump them.
I left the flower bed immediately for my run, and a quarter of a mile later realized that I was still wearing the leather gloves. At this point I had little desire to return to the house just to change gloves, and--being the scientist that I fancy myself to be--opted to conduct a glove experiment.
I was out for an hour and the gloves performed their main task of keeping my hands warm. Very well, in fact. I managed to avoid most of the rain, thus the gloves only got wet on their cloth backsides. I also picked up, flattened, and carried home 3 beer cans to recycle; this endeavor got the palm side of the fingers a bit damp but the wetness did not soak through.
Bottom line: they worked OK in a pinch--in fact, better than I expected--but I'll stick to gloves made of synthetic materials. Leather works to keep cows dry but it loses something in the process.
I should also comment on the gloves themselves: the main wear and tear on these gloves is the care and feeding of my woodstove. The fingers tend to wear through from the abrasion of handling pieces of wood, so I effect temporary repairs using duct tape.
Reminds me of a great scene from Lonesome Dove, where the crew is making fun of Deets' (Danny Glover) outfit, a hodgepodge of patches and repairs. Gus (Robert Duvall) observes some thing like: "Deets isn't one to give up on a garment just because it has a little wear."