Monday, March 1, 2010

Icicle Season

We got some kind of winter going on round here. It’s warm inside but the inevitable cabin fever gets you outside. We must brave the weather or go insane. Pity the poor blogger, walking the same streets with nothing new to observe, except snow. Then I noticed icicles, took some shots.
I thought about how an icicle is a spike of ice formed when water dripping from an object freezes. No, I didn’t copy that directly from the wikipedia entry on icicles. What are you implying?

Okay I did copy it. The entry continued: “typically, icicles will form when ice or snow is melted by either sunlight or some other heat source and the resulting melted water runs off into an area where the ambient temperature is below the freezing point of water causing the water to refreeze.”

Come on, you never really thought about that before. I didn’t. But, like red leaves in Autumn, or a rainbow when the sun glistens through rain clouds, icicles are a natural phenomena occurring only a few times a year. And it isn’t enough just to be winter, either. Dripping water and freezing temperatures—make that freezing ambient temperatures—have to be correctly aligned for these melting stalactites of winter to appear.

Icicles do seem to be different from one another. There’s not a uniform icicle. Never thought the spike concept could be so widely defined.

Icicles can form on natural things like stones or branches and unnatural things, like the rim of an awning, letters on facades, or the edge of a fire escape. How many phenomena can you say that about? Water is such a remarkable substance. It is able to conform in the same way to all matter of object.

Nature gives us metaphors by which we understand the world and existence. Icicles are phallic yet dripping. How many metaphors does nature give us containing the dichotomy of genders?

With the temperatures swinging up and down from freezing to non-freezing and a week of rain then rain and snow then sleet and rain and snow then a whole mess of snow, there is a lot of water dripping down stuff. It was icicle season in Jersey City. For a day at least, maybe two.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen the pictures of the icicles. When you look at the picture of the icicles that look like long finger nails of Freddy Krueger. And looking at the SH with the icicles showing. Maybe we can keep this quiet, SHHHHHHH.