Saturday, 19 February 2011

Ice Patterns

I've got white before my eyes again. This has largely been because I've been busy painting the bathroom walls, but I did clear a bit of snow off the drive yesterday and there will be a whole lot more to clear today. I remain convinced, however, that the worst is over, with the only question at the moment whether this short winter burst will finally end next Friday (25th February) or continue to Saturday the 26th.

Just a few days ago it was freezing, but the sun was high enough to get the temperature up to between +4 and +8C where it shone. Strange patterns had appeared in the ice.

Clear ice lay beside opaque, crystallised lines.

Out in the field there were areas of completely white ice, whilst others were completely transparent.

Over two days, the pond went from having a few white bands on the 13th

to progressively more on the 14th.

I could see the progress of white in-filling deeper into the pond on the 15th. The photo gives only a general  impression, but there was a clear three dimensional effect, with white layers descending into the water, with clear ice above.

It looks quite level from the next angle, but the centre appeared to be some 40cm below the surface.

Different patterns in the layers are visible here.

It's all covered by several centimetres of snow now. Time for a seasonal song, which, although entitled Winter Song (by Loudon Wainwright III), it only starts and ends there, looking forward to the rest of the year. Back in oceanic climate London in 1971, sympathy with the seasons described here was little more than imagination. It never occurred to me at all that I would at some time be living somewhere where these seasons would be completely meaningful, as they now are to me in Poland. There is still much in the detail that is culturally alien, though.

One day this weary winter will be gone.
Don't be fooled it won't be gone for good.
It will be back to freeze next year's moustache,
Blowing snow as every winter should.

Right now we all look forward to the spring:
Season of the short sleeve and soft ground.
We all recall how she was last year;
Each and every groundhog hung around.

If Spring's a maid then summer is a whore.
Mosquito's bite, diving boards they throb.
She's hot, she's heavy - hairy men may sweat.
Gobble yellow corn-upon-the-cob.

The corn it turns to candy in the fall.
The bamboo rake is brought from the garage.
School buses dot the land.
Each and every bird's nest looses camouflage.

One day this weary winter will be gone ...

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