As we edge nearer the winter solstice, I so appreciate every bit of sunshine we see. Even on a cold day, that warmth on my face is delicious. If I may, I also appreciate the ice that comes with early winter, especially since the streams are still free of heavy snow and small lakes not yet completely frozen over.
Much of this still “new” ice comes with fascinating patterns that change as the days warm or cool, as we get a bit more snow and then it melts, all by degrees.
All of this is by degrees, literally, centered around that temperature at which water can be either liquid or solid or a mix of the two. Having spent a long career teaching people to “think thermally” as they used thermal imaging cameras, I still enjoy seeing the images displayed in ice and understanding how they come to be shaped as they are.
With temperatures dropping into the teens at night this week, new ice will be forming rapidly. It will be a great time to get out, especially along the banks of streams, to spend some time learning to see again what happens by degrees.