Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'm sure it's perverse and wicked to enjoy ice and snow formations as much as I do -- but once all that frozen precipitation is there, it doesn't cost any more to admire it than to fulminate against it, even while concerning oneself appropriately about the ice dams on the roof that are encouraging water to get into the house.

I have nicknamed one of the bedrooms the Icicle Room, in honor of the prince among icicles that forms outside one of the windows at the corner where the two roofs come together. Four or five inches thick at its top, it spreads itself for most of a foot along the gutter and extends downward to the porch roof, where it stabs itself into whatever snow is there.

One moonlit midwinter night, on my way back to bed from the bathroom, I stopped in to have a look at the blue-white tree-laced landscape and, while I was at it, the icicle. There it was all right -- but what really caught my eye was the icicles lined up immediately in front of the window with the full moon directly behind them, silver-white and black, just tinged with blue.

The effect was so wonderful that I had to share it. I crept down the hall and woke up my poor old husband, and dragged him a room or two down the hall to look at the moonlit icicles. He tried to be properly impressed, even though, as he reminded me, he couldn't see any color involved. I assured him that snow and ice and tree-branches in moonlight are all but colorless.

He admired the icicles for a few minutes before respectfully requesting permission to go back to bed. He did; I followed.