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Ice, ice…

December 17, 2008

In our neck of the woods, forecasts for a white Christmas more often mean ice than snow. We get sleet – snow that melts, then freezes before falling as tiny pellets of ice – and freezing rain, which freezes on contact and coats everything outside in a slick, treacherous glaze. In our worst winter storms, ice will weigh on power lines and tree branches, sometimes enough to snap them. The trees along Hwy 71 in southwest Missouri look gnarled and alien after an ice storm in December 2007 broke many of them into strange, crooked shapes.  And during a big storm during the 2000-01 holidays, when my sister had surgery that kept her off her feet and ice kept our cars at the bottom of a long, steep driveway, we strapped on crampons so our shoes could grip the ice and pulled her behind us on a runner sled.

This week, black ice closed schools and bridges and backed up traffic, but we didn’t get stuck, we didn’t lose power, and I passed the season’s first tests of my ability to get Jack (and myself) down the stairs and our rock walkways to the car without injury. Last night, the fog froze and covered everything in rime ice, which reminds me of my dad’s old icebox freezer, much in need of defrosting. It clings to one side of twigs and leaves and tells you which way the wind was blowing:

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    December 18, 2008 2:51 am

    Wow– your blog just taught me something new! I now know what rime ice is. Thanks for the education! 🙂

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