austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm

So, it's been a harsh winter, with lots of snow and lots of cold, a combination that made sure every single flake stuck around until at least the start of March when we started to see the occasional melting days. The end of winter is supposed to bring a somewhat catastrophic melt, as I understand from flood warnings and how much bunny_hugger talks about the inevitable wetness of the basement (it doesn't seem bad to me), and the flood warnings from the weather service.

Much of the snow has melted, thanks to a good and much-needed string of days that get up above freezing (though still below normal). It's been dropping below zero at night, though, which has produced a weird side effect in the pond. The pond had frozen over and gotten a thick layer of ice over the winter, but when the warmer weather came, melt from the yard gathered on top of the existing ice layer. That produced the weird effect of an inch or more of water on top of ice, which you just don't see very much. And then when the night came and the water froze over again, obviously, that just made the ice layer thicker. Then the day would see a little of the top of the ice melt, and more melt run off the yard, and sometimes even rain produce some more water on top, which freezes again.

The result is that the ice has piled up and up and up to the point that it's now made the pond surface almost level with the ground around it; there's got to be six to eight inches of ice atop there. The weather forecast is for it to get steadily warmer the next week, including nights that it actually doesn't drop below freezing (which has happened maybe twice so far this calendar year) for this mess to actually melt.

Meanwhile we do have a small heater in the pond, that's proven up to the challenge of keeping at least a bit of open water available for the animals around here, and if you haven't seen a squirrel trod out across several feet of ice to dip his mouth into the warm-ish water you've missed something grand. When it'll actually be a pond again, who knows?

Trivia: A 1636 book by Bernard Palissy, titled How To Become Rich and the True Way in Which Every man in France Could Grow and Multiply Their Treasury and Possessions states that ``sugar is a salt'', and lists among the various salts ``grape salt, which gives taste and flavor to wine''. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.

Currently Reading: The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life Of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom, Graham Farmelo.

PS: Realistic Modeling, from finance to pretty much anything.

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