The short and technically correct answer is quite simple.
No you cannot get an ear infection from the wind itself, because air doesn't cause infection.
But like all things catching a chill may actually "cause" a cold...albeit indirectly.
It doesn't take an ace sleuth to notice that colds (viral URIs) are much more prevalent during the winter. That's why your mother (and my mother) thinks you get a cold from being cold. Interestingly, not all of this phenomenon is explained by simply being indoors and closer together.
Many common cold viruses replicate best at lower temperature such as 30C (86F) and poorly at 38C+ (100.4F+). Cold weather cools the mucous membranes to about this or less. Not only do the viruses replicate better, but your nasal cilia, mucous production, and white cells function more poorly at these temperatures. Many of us are frequently exposed to viral URIs but have "subclinical" infection meaning asymptomatic infection. The above factors can transform a subclinical infection to a clinical one.
Indeed, experiments have been done which show a drop in body temperature (catching a chill) may indeed lead to a cold. (Ive attached two recent references at the end).
Wind can lead to a chill and therefore lead to a viral URI. As viral URIs are the most frequent cause of bacterial ear infections (from inflammation and blockage of the Eustachian tube) it is therefore possible to get an ear infection from the wind (again indirectly). There are also some wind bourne fungi such as Cocci in California and the southwest or Histo in the ohio river valley which can sometimes cause URI type symptoms.
So the long answer is yeah, you can get an ear infection from the wind...
As far as ear aches are concerned; cold temperatures can cause pain from cold sensing neurons as well as painful spasms of smooth muscles in the mucosa/ear brought by the cold. Ear aches from cold weather and *cold* wind are common. Ear aches from viral mediated ear inflammation are common as well, which is why we're trying to use less antibiotics just because someone has an ear ache and a common cold, and reserving it for more severe symptoms.
I'd be at a loss explaining an ear ache from, say, the trade winds.
Hope that helped.
There is a constant increase in hospitalizations and mortality during winter months; cardiovascular diseases as well as respiratory infections are responsible for a large proportion of this added morbidity and mortality. Exposure to cold has often been associated with increased incidence and severity of respiratory tract infections. The data available suggest that exposure to cold, either through exposure to low environmental temperatures or during induced hypothermia, increases the risk of developing upper and lower respiratory tract infections and dying from them; in addition, the longer the duration of exposure the higher the risk of infection. Although not all studies agree, most of the available evidence from laboratory and clinical studies suggests that inhaled cold air, cooling of the body surface and cold stress induced by lowering the core body temperature cause pathophysiological responses such as vasoconstriction in the respiratory tract mucosa and suppression of immune responses, which are responsible for increased susceptibility to infections. The general public and public health authorities should therefore keep this in mind and take appropriate measures to prevent increases in morbidity and mortality during winter due to respiratory infections.
There is a common folklore that chilling of the body surface causes the development of common cold symptoms, but previous clinical research has failed to demonstrate any effect of cold exposure on susceptibility to infection with common cold viruses.
This study will test the hypothesis that acute cooling of the feet causes the onset of common cold symptoms.
180 healthy subjects were randomized to receive either a foot chill or control procedure. All subjects were asked to score common cold symptoms, before and immediately after the procedures, and twice a day for 4/5 days.
13/90 subjects who were chilled reported they were suffering from a cold in the 4/5 days after the procedure compared to 5/90 control subjects (P=0.047). There was no evidence that chilling caused any acute change in symptom scores (P=0.62). Mean total symptom score for days 1-4 following chilling was 5.16 (+/-5.63 s.d. n=87) compared to a score of 2.89 (+/-3.39 s.d. n=88) in the control group (P=0.013). The subjects who reported that they developed a cold (n=18) reported that they suffered from significantly more colds each year (P=0.007) compared to those subjects who did not develop a cold (n=162).
Acute chilling of the feet causes the onset of common cold symptoms in around 10% of subjects who are chilled. Further studies are needed to determine the relationship of symptom generation to any respiratory infection.