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.

Angel wannabe wants to say something. No wonder those shepherds were "sore afraid."

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.

20140102 collage

20140101 cracked 1

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 . . .

20140104 thick disk

. . . and thin. The thin ones play better with light, but the thick ones last longer.

20140104 thindisk 1

When the cold sticks around, the ice disks accumulate.

20140110 quintet
Some disks look like the new moon. Other disks look almost like pentacles.

20140126 pentacle

20140120 very thin

20140125 night long 2Disks have a colorful nightlife. I string green and purple lights on the deck railing so I can see the dark better.

20140131 four on stairsDisks can climb stairs. I realized this after one disk took a tumble after some zealous snow shoveling. It survived the one-story fall. As I carried it back up the stairs, I thought, Why not?

One, two, three more joined it.

Then they all turned to puddles.

20140208 fear no art

Ice disks are what they are, but they can be persuaded to carry a message.

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.

20140211 six

20140212 brokenWhen 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.

20140213 eight and co.And by the end of the day this was all that was left.

20140214 remnants

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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2 Responses to Ephemera

  1. tompostpile says:

    Is it required that octopod coven’s members have pentacles instead of tentacles?


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