Lemonade from climate change
-and the changing snow, ice patterns-
I live in Northern Vermont. We are supposed to be a snow belt, but like everywhere else, climate change is having its way with us. Recently we had a spell of below zero temperatures for a week or so. That was OK. It would be setting up a nice base for the snow to build on when it finally warmed up. Except that when it started to warm up, the temperature spiked to 45 degrees above zero and poured rain for a day and a half and we lost what little snow we had. The temperature swung 60+ degrees overnight. And… if that wasn’t fickle enough, right after the rain the temperature dropped back down into the single digits for another three or four days. It seems it was a time to try to make Lemonade from climate change.
So not to be undone by the climates fickle affectations, we looked for other activities to pursue. Downhill skiing and cross country skiing were out, but as opportunity would have it, the lakes were frozen a foot deep and the lack of snow made the surface like a mirror. We had found our lemonade. So even though we had to endure some stiff winds, the ice skating was unparalleled. In fact, some locals said it was the best ice in 20 years or more. We were able to skate miles in one direction and then turn around and let the wind carry us back to our starting points. If you are used to skating on ice rinks or shoveled off ponds, the pure joy of being able to skate miles and miles with relative little effort is a pure joy. It can bring out the kid in even the most jaded of souls.
With this new-found opportunity, we went in search of different lakes to skate. Notches in the proverbial skater’s belt. With this goal in mind, we headed out on our local Crystal Lake to skate. About half way out and extending for a quarter mile, there was the most unusual display of ice that any of us had ever seen. We called it a mosaic of ice tiles. Indeed, it looked just like an ice version of ceramic tile that one might have in the foyer of their house or on their counter tops. I can only surmise that the odd combinations of snow, deep freeze, thaw with pouring rain and then a refreeze had trapped these patterns of soft ice beneath a layer of clear blue smooth ice. It was truly magical to skate over such a capricious display of nature’s creativity.
And this photo for me reinforced what they tell us. Some of the most interesting pictures come from unusual weather and from being willing to get out there and look around. Indeed, from lemons sometimes comes lemonade.