Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

The Olympics must have put me in a wintery mood.  It seems unbelievable but we're supposed to get another foot-ish of snow in a few days.  We're finally just starting to melt from underneath three feet of the stuff, and more's a comin'.  Oh well--it is winter.  One should expect these things.  I actually don't  mind snow--it leads to cozy days of hot chocolate and tea, handknit afghans and cinematic adventures, and an extra little workout from shoveling.  Plus--is there anything more beautiful than the purply soft glow of dusk when there's a blanket of snow?  A book I read called it 'snowlight,' and that seems the perfect word for it, whether it is an official meteorological term or not. 

On the evening news they just did a story on the Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China.  Zero degrees is the norm in the winter there; when you're frozen solid why not make it a tourist attraction?  Oodles of workers spend days and weeks transforming mountains of snow and blocks of ice into extremely detailed sculptures and replicas of famous structures (the Arc de Triomphe, the Great Wall of China, etc.).  There is even a giant functioning thermometer carved out of ice.  Although at these temperatures, cold is cold and the number is irrelevant.

Native American snow sculpture.  Photo by R. Todd King.

Vegas? Nope.  That's all ice.  Photo by R. Todd King.

For a great little overview of the Hardin Ice Festival, click here.  It really is beautiful.  And much cozier doing it whilst curled up on your couch watching Jeopardy than actually making the trek.

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