We had a wintry December on Martha’s Vineyard. Life gave me ice, so I got into ice diskology — unmolding the ice that froze in Travvy’s outside water dish and arranging the resulting disks on my little deck. I called it “dog dish ice art.” Quite a few of my Facebook friends liked it, so I kept doing it. We even had a little ice disk nativity scene co-starring Travvy and Garfield.
Some winters, the worst is over by the end of December. The catch is that you don’t know for sure that the worst is over till the end of March. This year the worst was not over by the end of December. January and February (so far) have brought snow and more snow, and temps that went as low as 7 below (Fahrenheit) and hung out in the teens and single digits for extended periods. These cold spells have been interrupted by days in the mid- to high 40s.
All of this is to say that ice disks come and ice disks go, but I’ve taken pictures of all of them. This is what the winter of 2014 has looked like on my deck.
The new year began with two old-year disks, one of which was somewhat the worse for wear. On January 2 they got snowed on.
Disks come in thick . . .
. . . and thin. The thin ones play better with light, but the thick ones last longer.
When the cold sticks around, the ice disks accumulate.
Some disks look like the new moon. Other disks look almost like pentacles.
Disks have a colorful nightlife. I string green and purple lights on the deck railing so I can see the dark better.
One, two, three more joined it.
Then they all turned to puddles.
When I started a row along the shortest side of my deck, I didn’t realize that it would grow into the season’s longest to date. Here’s the sextet.
When I tried to make room for #7, my hand slipped.
First I was sad. Then I decided that cracks add character.
Yesterday morning there were eight. The angle makes ’em hard to count, but they’re there.
Yesterday, however, got warm.
And by the end of the day this was all that was left.