February 20, 2007

Snow and ice

Snow

One of the fun things about living in Snowstorm Region is that after a blizzard, we have lots of snow to play with. Plows push snow off roads into high banks, and our long hilly driveway, with its tall white sides looks more like a luge run than a driveway. For kids, the snow means an endless supply of building material for forts. Snow forts here include tunnels to crawl through, cave-like rooms where you can store snowballs, and big walls of snow for defense. My teenagers like to build a snow ramp up against the house, with a jump in the middle of the front yard. When the temperatures get warmer and the snow gets that melty texture, it'll be good for snow people and other artistic expressions.

Of course, the snow can be a curse too. Even though most roofs here are pitched pretty steep, the snow gathers on them, and the weight of wet snow can be overwhelming. One of my students spend last week's blizzard working on top of the ridiculously big sports facility at Snowstorm University, a big dome-like structure that could collapse under too much snow. College students who couldn't afford to turn down the money (that is, students from Small Green, where I work) spent several long nights climbing around on the Dome with fire hoses, spraying the snow to melt it. It was both exciting and scary, my student told us, to be up higher than even the tallest dorm on campus, in gale force wind, trying to maneuver fire hoses in the dark, knowing that you could slide off the edge to your death. "My mother isn't crazy about me doing it," he admitted.

Some homeowners shovel their roofs, but my husband and I have long since decided that we don't want to send a pack of crazy teenagers up onto an icy two-story roof; I would rather take the risk of damaging the house. The sun, eventually, will melt the snow, creating spectacular icicles along the edges of the roof. On the first sunny day, when the storm clouds cleared and the sky was again some shade of blue, I looked out at the world through a layer of ice.

Icicles

24 comments:

RageyOne said...

Beautiful imagaes. Espcially the icicles.

There is no way I could be on the dome of that sports facility like your student described. Are they not tethered to anything for saftey? Scary.

jo(e) said...

No, they don't wear safety harnesses or anything like that. It makes me nervous ....

Songbird said...

Two boys here were plowed into a snow bank after digging a cave in a church parking lot. Fortunately one of their dads knew where they had been headed and rescue workers were able to dig them out. They were trapped for several hours, but were both okay.
(Yes, I'm a neurotic mother.)

Rana said...

No harnesses? That would make me nervous, too!

Maybe in a day or two our warm weather will make it to you. We've been thawing all over the place.

Beautiful icicles!

Yankee, Transferred said...

I would be a wreck if I were their parents.

Great icicles!

Jane Dark said...

Gorgeous photos.

I hope the kids from Small Green get paid well to risk their lives.

Kyla said...

I could use a big pile of snow to jump in today. It looks glorious, jo(e)!

Kathryn said...

Living where a few inches of snow causes life to grind to a halt, you paint an almost unimaginable picture...Thank you for making it real with words and photos.

Patti said...

We shoveled our roof, just the section that was easy to get to from the attic window. Then my son said, "Gee, I want to snowboard of the porch roof onto the trampoline! Will you tape it Mom?" Of course I said yes...

The Simpleton said...

Doesn't everyone in Snowstorm Region have roof cables? When I lived in the City Best Known for Its Beer in high school, my parents and everyone in the neighborhood would turn on the electric cables when we were going to get really dumped on. It probably doesn't use as much electricity to run them as it takes to pump water to the fire hoses.

BeachMama said...

Wow, you really did get a dumping last week. Thankfully we rarely have to shovel our roofs here, especially not the newer houses. But, every year my father (who is almost 70) gets asked by someone to shovel their roof. He is a painter by trade and I guess they figure that he would do it because he is not afraid of heights and he knows what he is doing. This year we told him he couldn't do it. Somehow he felt happy to say, "My Daughters won't let me". Kudos to those kids, I wouldn't be on top of the dome!

Chip said...

BK and his friends spent hours and hours making snowforts. That was one of my favorite parts of winter when I was a kid.

And I love icicles, they are absolutely amazing and beautiful. We haven't gotten too many on our house yet.

And I still find it unbelievable that they send kids up onto High Structure at Snowstorm U! You'd think that knowing where they were building the danged thing, they would have thought about this all those years ago when it was built..

diana christine said...

my gosh, i always love your photographs. i love seeing what you see and knowing that what you see is in my world, even if i am not close enough to touch it. what incredible wealth we have in the beauty that surrounds us....

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Your winter posts make me want to move there... We get snow, but not like that! Enjoy the winter.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I am astounded by that first picture. That's about how much snow is beside the Mt. Bachelor parking lot, at 6500'... I'm trying to imagine living there year-round, rather than just driving up for the day.

liz said...

So beautiful...but you won't mind if I wait until summer to visit, will you?

kathy a said...

the icicles are so beautiful!

worry about the kids on the dome, though. there ought to at least be some safety equipment.

Linda (FM) said...

When I first read your post this morning, I guess I didn't see much after the first paragraph. I was lost in memories of the snow forts we built as kids. I loved making tunnels, and shelves on which to store snowballs. Ah, so much fun!

But now, I'm struck by the image of the college kids on the roof getting the snow off. That's just wrong!

Ookami Snow said...

Those are awsome pics. Big storms here (Kansas) are only 12" or so.

Sarah Sometimes said...

It was warmer here, too, today, at last. No gorgeous icicles to look through, but the air had that damp, almost spring-like smell.

kate5kiwis said...

oh wow jo(e)
those icicles are definitely worth the february-itis: they are incredible, i have never seen such.
it must be like living in a fairy castle.

YourFireAnt said...

You could make hot water balloons and hurl them up onto the roof to start the melting, which would eventually start a slide-off.

Wouldn't it?

FA

jo(e) said...

FA: Actually, what the boys do is use a fling to send stuff from the compost bucket over the roof. And then when the snow melts, I look up at the roof and wonder why I see old apple cores and cantelope rinds on there ....

Lilian said...

Impressive piles of snow and lovely icicles. I'm always fascinated by icicles, I think they're beautiful. Of course most everything about snow and ice fascinates me, since I grew up in Brazil.