Monday, January 21, 2013

Rhyming About Rime

 I live in the shadow of tall White Fir and Douglas-fir trees, and in mid-winter, I only see the sun through the few openings between branches, and usually only for minutes at a time.  Thus, while most of the snow has melted off the south-facing slopes above Chandler Road, we still have over a foot of the white stuff in our yard.  That causes a certain amount of transportation consternation, but also results in some great displays of crystalline water.  The above photo is of one of those short-lived patches of sunlight which made the day's new layer of rime ice stand out.
 These great crystalline displays (be sure to click for a close-up) always remind me of the great displays of rapid-forming rime ice I've seen near the summit of Lassen Peak.  Sometimes the rocks are covered with six-inch-tall spikes of ice, and when they are brushed or kicked away, they can form again before our eyes in a matter of minutes.  I also have memories of fishermen returning to Plymouth harbor from the Grand Banks with their rigging covered with ice and telling stories of tragic adventures when crews could not keep up with the rapidly-forming ice and were helpless at their fishing boats sank under the weight.  My Mom is from Plymouth, still lives there at 93, and when I was a teenager I loved listening to fishermens' stories stories in coffee shops.  Their stories were far more interesting than recent coffee shop chatter about gun control.
 Our well cover is one of my snow gauges.  Snow still a foot thick there.  Our snow-damaged birch tree in the background might make it through the winter, but it's destined for the firewood pile next summer.
                                         One last close-up of ice crystals.  No signs of wildlife
                                          so far today.  But the day is young and it's supposed
                                          to warm up this afternoon.  Camera and notebook are

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