Cold northern blasts he sends
turning the ponds to lumps of ice.
He freezes over every body of water,
and clothes each pool with a coat of mail.
The last week in North Carolina has been one of the coldest on record. There were at least five days and probably twice as many nights where the temperate did not reach above freezing. Last weekend was probably the coldest with daytime highs around 18°F. Though this may not seem cold to those living in more northerly reaches than ourselves, for a couple of relocated Californians this was cold.
One of the more interesting things was watching our pond freeze over. There is a fascinating sound that is made when rocks are skipped along the ice and, best of all, the rocks skip right on over to the other side with minimum effort for easy retrieval and reskipping. The pond was kept from entirely freezing over by an aerator we installed last spring which left a large open circle in the middle. The rest of the pond, however, was, as Sirach says,
blanketed with a coat of mail, a coat of mail about three inches thick. As the weather warmed up this week some of the ice had already begun to melt even before we received an inch of rain overnight and into Sunday that allowed the sheet to float up with the rising water level. By Sunday afternoon there was enough of an opening that I went paddling around amid the remaining ice, imagining I was on an Alaskan kayaking expedition of some sort. As I crashed the kayak into the remaining sheets, I listened to them creak and groan, watched the broken pieces shift atop one another, and then backed out of the channel I gradually made. I took several photos of the frozen pond over the course of several days and Michelle snapped a couple more shots of my ice-smashing adventures.