Deep Freeze February

Click to embiggen. Don’t you love that word? It entered the language via media and space—the Simpsons and string theory. You’re welcome.

So I was too late over to free the bridge, and won’t try again until next week’s thaw and flood melt.

Doesn’t look like so much volume of precip expected now from a complicated mix on Monday and Tuesday.

Do embiggen, and pay attention to the many tiny dots over the ice. Those are flying  droplets of water created  from the turbulence of water flow against rocks.

It is this airborne moisture that freezes first against the rock and then, creating even more froth as the rock grows icy, the frozen lacy cruft of ice grows more than a foot thick. It will persist even after the water level drops, suspended over the water like the ceiling of a crystal cathedral.

I’ll hope for some more “things that water does” images in the days to come. Except maybe not tomorrow, when chill factor will register a dozen or more degrees below zero. I’m just not that dedicated a photog. Doug  Thompson, get out there and take over.

NOTE: the pup is Feather, a 4 yr old labradoodle. She belongs down the road, legally. We tell folks we have a 22-7 dog (Gandy) and Feather who is our 22-7 grand-dog. They are such good buddies. Except in winter.

Gandy is a mix predominated by Rhodesian Ridgeback. She justifies her reluctance to stay out very long to play with her friend when it is this cold by telling us that winters are not like this in Rhodesia, even though they may be in Labrador. So just get off her back!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I loved these pictures of the creek, the ice, but mostly sweet Feather, that tail curled over her back and she looked almost white!

  2. I guess string theorists coined embiggen because enlarge is so everyday.
    You would love to see the ice crust at the foot of big falls like Yellowstone! They are there late in the spring.