Reub's journey

08 February 2015

Visiting winter

 
 The winter landscape of my childhood is quite different from the deep greens of February in Oregon. For the past two years I've gone back to Wisconsin to re-visit the familiar white hillsides crested with  calligraphic strokes of bare trees. It sometimes seems as though I never left.




 The snow was just beginning to fall as our plane landed, and by the end of the next day there was close to a foot. Snow transforms even the most commonplace tree stump into a thing of magic. Do you see the bald eagle?



 The little towns of eastern Wisconsin have their own charm, always made nicer with a fresh coat of snow.



 This is an "ice shove" on Lake Butte des Morts in Oshkosh, where in very cold weather the shallow, frozen lake presses outward, eerily moving slabs of ice, and pushing rock banks away from itself. When the lake moves, it makes a crunching, groaning sound that may include the sound of breaking glass or even wind chimes.


I suppose all lakes in the north do this, but I've only heard about it in the Lake Winnebago/Butte des Mort region of Wisconsin. This video shows an ice shove in motion:



Ah, the northern winters. I do miss them sometimes, but I was glad to get back to mild-mannered western Oregon. These days I only visit winter when I want to.

26 comments:

  1. the ice shove is really cool. you've made me homesick. i've not been back in over 8 years.

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    1. There have been changes in the past 8 years, mostly political. I don't know if I could live there again, Tex.

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  2. I grew up in S. Dakota, and although I love snow, I don't miss the bitter cold winters we had there. In Oregon, I can drive to the snow and not have to deal with it at home!

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    1. That's just about perfect, isn't it? That's what we do too. But I did love stepping out into the bitter cold and hearing the crunch of low-temp snow underfoot. We never get that here.

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  3. I remember seeing a video a year or two ago of an ice shove that actuallly pushed through the walls of homes that were on the lakes. It was very scary!

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    1. The ice shoves ARE scary. Suddenly the benign lake of summer turns into a moving, unstoppable, audible threat. It's weird.

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  4. When the snow finally leaves it is like a old friend leaving. I often feel I didn't play in it enough.

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    1. Spoken like a true prairie woman. You are in the right place.

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  5. Hi Kerry ! What a lovely post. Snow producers it's own special charm beauty & character. Unfortunately I have never actually experienced snow - seen, touched, tasted,snowboarded,snowballed,shoveled or made a snowman.Regards Ram

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    1. Ram! Now you have the perfect excuse to visit Idaho in February! Snow is amazing. We all marvel at it when it first appears in early winter; you would love it and have a camera full of snow shots. :)

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  6. I lived in Minneapolis for two winters. I'll take the greenery anytime, but especially this year. I mowed for the first time last week.

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    1. You already mowed? Geesh. The moss keeps our grass down for us I guess.

      I suppose a key word in this post is "sometimes" when I say I miss Wisconsin winters.

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  7. I've seen the aftermath of ice shoves on a river a few years in a row. It killed trees, damaged small structures and generally changed the landscape. I would be quite worried about living that close to such power... as I look out on my frozen lake just a few yards from my door.

    I love the street scene.. it's classic. And of course, your bald eagle.

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    1. Oh Hilary, you do live mighty close to a big frozen lake, don't you? When the lake comes calling there's not much to be done about it. But your house has been on that spot for quite awhile & hopefully the risk is small.

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  8. I'd love to hear the sounds of the ice shove. The tree stump filled with snow is so cool! Winter is always an amazing sight to see...from the comfort of my warm living room. Some days we even have to run the a/c in winter. :/

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    1. Oh wow, a/c in the winter! Well that's Louisiana for ya.

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  9. A fresh coat of snow does wonders for towns. I like the rows of corn stalks.

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    1. The sight of those corn stalks against the snow...it brings back many memories growing up in the country. I like them too.

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  10. it just makes everything beautiful....i do see the eagle!!!

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    1. Good! Glad somebody did-I thought I might be crazy.

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  11. That ice is really something. The rest of winter I am very familiar with. :)

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    1. I bet you are, AC. The snow that you get is amazing.

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  12. visiting is the best way to experience winter.

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    1. Yes.
      "Hello snow!...okay, time to go now!"

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  13. Bald eagle or penguin? I have not been a fan of snow and ice since last winter. It will be, for me, one that goes down in the history of "remember when?".

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