Tuesday, December 28, 2010


There was a blizzard the day after Christmas. Today I shoveled the deck, and saw this interesting pattern the snow made while it preferentially melted through the spaces between the deck's wooden boards.

And below, a few close-ups where you can see "strata."

One last one, slightly enhanced so that it has that icy blue color of glaciers in Antarctica on National Geographic photos...

The front yard and part of driveway after the snow stopped falling.

We filled the birdfeeder too, but no birds came out today. Maybe they will come out tomorrow, and hopefully the bluejays won't be bullies.


Cin-Ty Lee said...

did it melt through... or did it just deposit this way... that is, did the snow just fall through the cracks and not deposit there. seems like the snow is very fresh and still fluffy, so it doesn't look it has melted to me... would have lost much of the nice layering if it melted.

Emily J. Chin said...

Hmmm, I see your point there. It's definitely possible it deposited this way, and then just compacted down. It was a very windy snowstorm where a lot of snow piled up in huge drifts - in some places, over 4 feet and in other places 1 foot. When I photographed this pattern in the snow it was already 2 or 3 days old, so already was hard and had a rind of frost on it. Maybe the "strata" are successive thaw - freeze cycles during the day? Unfortunately I shoveled it all away... so can't examine any of the snow layers :-(

Emily J. Chin said...

I think there may be some component of melting - refreezing involved. If you look closely at near the base of one of these "holes", it looks like it's been undercut, possibly by a layer of basal melt. Also, the entire deck has gaps between the planks... but this pattern only showed up in this one spot (why wasn't the snow on the entire deck patterned in this way?) Could be that this particular area gets more sun.