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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Strange Little Ice Spaghetti. . .

Whenever you move somewhere new, there are always a whole bunch of interesting things to experience and learn.  When I lived in Washington, DC, I was drenched in amazing museums as well as traffic I could never have imagined.  In Santa Barbara, I discovered unbelievable Mexican food and dealing with tar from the beautiful sandy beaches.  In the UK, it was the eternal dampness, stinging nettles, and falling in love with the gorgeous Norfolk coast.

EVERYWHERE has a learning curve of what is awesome about the area and what must be endured.  My current home in the Sierra Nevadas is no exception.

There is much to get used to. . .being careful of mountain lions and bears tops the list!  And there is much to love. . .the piney smells, the lovely sense of community, the gorgeous weather, the stunning turn of seasons. . .

And there are some quirky things, too.  I have only been back from living in England for two years, but I can already tell that I am going to be waiting like a kid for Christmas for the first hard frost of every autumn!  Why?  How the heck do I explain?

I don't even know what it's called. . .I have never lived anywhere where this has happened. . .I've lived in places that have hard frosts, but maybe it's the clay in the soil of Placer County that creates the particular phenomenon . . .I honestly don't know.

But OH how cool I think this is:  Every time we have our first hard frost, little ice spaghetti things sprout up out of the ground. . .ALL over the place.  Sometimes little clumps of dirt are pushed up with the thin little spindles, sitting sweetly on top, and it makes them look like little shimmery mushrooms.  Sometimes they bend and twist and look like glass play-doh that has been pushed through that barber head thing.

I take a ton of pictures, but can't seem to capture the coolness of them.  That makes me sad, as I want to share my joy.  I know it's just some sort of phenomenon relating to the clayish ground swelling in the freeze and compressing ground water up and out through tiny holes where it freezes in place like tiny, fragile little up-side-down icicles .

But it mesmerizes me so.

I wonder what's next.  :)

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