Sculptural and sparkly. The "ice sculptures" begin to form when the snow slowly slides off of our fancy new metal porch roof, but does not actually fall. Snow boggles the mind. Hundreds, even thousands of snowflakes can be held in your hand at once, blown off the tip of your finger -- if they don't melt first. They are cold, but also known for holding warmth. The smallest flakes are lace-like, fragile; the largest like tufts of cotton. Clinging to each other as the lot of 'em start to slide, the tension must be incredible as the snow starts to bend and curl, and some flakes start to fall away, but not all... there are hangers-on, intrepid little flakes.
The best thing about February is that on the rare days when the sun comes out, its presence and increasing strength is keenly felt. The sun, both in partnership with other factors and alone, works a different sort of magic, as individual flakes are transformed into solid, crystalline masses of varying shape and size. Depending on conditions, they can be freeform and artsy or straight and direct -- either way, they are beautiful.
They are also heavy, sharp, pointy, and potentially dangerous. I don't recall specifics, but I remember one of my sisters being transported on the "milk cart" at our elementary school after she'd fallen on a sidewalk and jagged ice sliced a big gash in her knee. She had to have "dissolving stitches" deep inside, and then the regular kind on the outside; I remember being fascinated with the idea of dissolving stitches. Heh, I still am.
Be careful out there!!
You describe ice and snow so beautifully.
Posted by: margene | 21 February 2008 at 11:41 AM
I thought I was at Dale-Harriet's again. I love those funky-chinky icicles on the left. One wonders how THOSE got made?
Posted by: deb | 21 February 2008 at 12:53 PM
I think I like the cottony ones best. They change how sound moves through the air, and land on the ground deliberately. There, they seem to say, I'm just exactly where I wanted to be.
Posted by: Muriel | 21 February 2008 at 12:55 PM
We saw ice sliding off a metal roof like that in New Hampshire last weekend. It looks cool but I wouldn't want to be underneath!
Posted by: Carole | 21 February 2008 at 01:03 PM
We have nothing like this in the Bay Area. No snow, no ice - they're beyond my realm of experience. Here it's either the rainy season or the dry season. It's like you live in a whole different universe!
Posted by: Celia | 21 February 2008 at 01:59 PM
That happened to me when I was a wee! I was walking out to the bus and fell through the snow/ice and cut open my wittle bitty knee. So sad.
Posted by: Bookish Wendy | 21 February 2008 at 08:21 PM
Any ice dams? We've had a heck of a problem with those lovelies this winter.
Although I was just tucking in my oldest, and we both noticed that there was a "curtain" of icicles outside her window by her bed. Beautiful and long (some almost three feet long), but definitely put a chill over us with their icy elegance.
Posted by: Gretchen | 21 February 2008 at 08:23 PM
We certainly don't have that problem here, but I remember those days well.
Posted by: Carol | 22 February 2008 at 07:02 AM
I love the look of ice. I love when we have an ice storm and the branches are coated and the icicles are hanging from everything and the snow comes and coats it and it looks like a sparkly diamond world. But, I am also petrified of falling or my car sliding into things, or ice dropping onto my head. I'm very conflicted about the whole thing.
Posted by: Teresa C | 22 February 2008 at 11:04 PM