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Monday, November 26, 2012

Kinds of Ice

In Ellen Bryan Obed's book Twelve Kinds of Ice, the various stages of winter ice are intricately explained (and wonderfully illustrated with Barbara McClintock's scratch art) in twenty vignettes. Though slight in size, this book is filled with description and images that trigger memories and moments in my own ice history. As I walked near the lake this morning, I thought of the some of the kinds of ice I experience:

  • cracking ice - named by me for the thin, whitish ice that forms at the end of the driveway or on the edge of the road in early winter or late spring; it makes the best crack-shattering noise when stepped upon by my boots
  • new ice outdoor - that thin layer on the lake (gaining depth quickly in chill of the past few days) at the beginning of winter
  • new ice indoor- the best rink ice, formed just after the Zamboni has resurfaced
  • icicles - the kind just the perfect size for a hand to hold
  • add-on ice - like the kind stuck to my mailbox flag this morning


  1. I think I like the icicles ice the best.

  2. I know exactly what you are talking about with "cracking ice" - and I still like to hear that sound it makes when it is stepped on...though I always feel a little guilty like I'm breaking something that I shouldn't.

    Most frustrating kind of ice: windshield ice, that clings to the class and wiper blades as you try to scritch, scritch, scritch it off with an ice scraper.

  3. So glad you discovered this book! It's a gem, isn't it?

  4. I like how other things look when seen through icicles, Kate.

    I, too, feel guilty about cracking that special ice, David, and I agree about the most frustrating kind of ice!

    This book is a gem, Joyce. I ordered a copy.