Skating on Thick Ice

| 1/13/2011 9:56:57 AM

Tags: nature appreciation, outdoor recreation, winter, Cam Mather,

Recently I had the greatest day of my life. Well … after my wedding day, it was the greatest day ever. Oh … and the days my daughters were born … it was the best day ever after those days. Oh, and the day I put up the wind turbine … and my new solar panels. Anyway, recently I had a red-letter day here at Sunflower Farm.

Living life on the edge like I do, this is not a surprise. Some people freebase off of mountains and other people skydive. I live an equally exciting life; sometimes leaving the water in my rain barrels even after the temperature has dropped below zero degrees (Celsius). I know, it’s crazy, it defies all logic, but I do it anyway. During the fall when I no longer require the water from the rain barrels for my gardens, I attach hoses to all of my rain barrels and I run them into the pond to help fill it up for the skating rink. This summer the pond was really low so any extra water helps. I leave the rain barrels out for as long as I can without letting them freeze. I got most of the barrels drained properly in December before the big freeze up. But just before New Years we had a major thaw. So I put a couple of garbage cans under my downspouts. I figured that I could use rainwater to flush the toilet. Why use any of my limited electricity (at this time of year with short, cloudy days) to pump water when it’s falling from the sky?

But I forgot to dump one of the garbage cans when it froze up. When I found it, it had started to freeze all around the exterior, but not on the top. I poured the water out of it and was left with this amazing massive ice glass. I’m thinking I should fill it with beer and drink from it during the Superbowl. Oh wait, I wonder if my lips would get stuck to it.

The Enormous Icy Beer Glass

It works great as a candleholder at night too. Very Martha Stewart-ish! No, it won’t bring about world peace, but it was a fun distraction.

The Ice Lantern

I’ve always fantasized about having an icebox. Before modern refrigeration this is what everyone used. A block of ice was placed in the upper chamber of the icebox, which kept your perishables cold in the lower compartment. My dad has a great antique icebox at the cottage that I’ve had my eye on. I live surrounded by lakes. A hundred years ago teams of horses and men with long saws would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and store them in sawdust until they were needed. Human ingenuity is a marvelous thing. Plus I have lots of sawdust!

Antique Ice Boxes (from wikicommons)
Cutting Ice on the River (from wikicommons)

Then logic takes over. My new energy efficient fridge uses about 20% of our home’s daily electricity consumption and it’s awfully convenient. So as much as an icebox sounds like a great idea, I’m probably better to just stick with my refrigerator. Especially since my fridge is “solar-powered.”  But it still appeals to me a lot. And I’d love to have an icebox in our dining room. I just think it’s so in keeping with an 1888 farmhouse.

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