Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winter Harvest

Question: What lives in winter, dies in summer and grows with it's roots up?

Summer and autumn are the king and queen of the harvest--it seems everything rounds and ripens, eventually birthing delights as far as the eye can see. Even in spring we await with bated breath and sharp, glinting knife the first bitter dandelion greens, sour rhubarb stalks, dinosaur-like fiddlehead fronds, or tender asparagus shoots. But Mother Winter is not nearly as baren as we often imagine. She graces us with her own unique beauty.

Harvesting ice . . .

Star projects . . .


Wicked winter gardens . . .

And though we're still tucked under a thick, white blanket, the sap will be rising soon. Probably the most scrumpteous of wild Winter's gifts. And it couldn't come soon enough. We poured the final drops of last year's smoky amber liquid onto a big bowl of snow and it disappeared quicker than Frosty in July.

Answer: Icicles

5 comments:

Redbeet Mama said...

Beautiful and very cool post.

I loved this visit!

Thank you, Nicole

Monica said...

why is ice harvested??

Amanda said...

Redbeet Mama: Thanks!

Monica: Back before refrigeration, they used to harvest blocks of ice from area lakes here in Pennsylvania and store them stacked between layers of straw in an icehouse. Then in the spring and summer, they would sell the blocks of ice to families to use in their "ice boxes" or stack into train cars to ship items that needed to stay cold. We obviously don't still need to do this sort of thing, but an area historical society likes to keep the skills, tools and traditions alive by hosting an Ice Harvest Festival every winter. They also do a festival in the heat of the summer where they then use the ice (for making ice cream in old-fashioned churns, keeping watermelons cold, and cooling off attendees).

DJ said...

Enjoyed this! There is a very interesting ice harvesting museum on the Pemaquid Peninsula in Maine. As you might imagine they tend to have a good supply of ice up there. It is great that such skills/tools/knowledge are kept alive as living history.

Alison said...

Great post! I am wishing we had more of the white, fluffy stuff to play in right now and I am NOT liking the frozen, slippery glacier that has overtaken our yard. Funny, when I read your first paragraph, I thought of our babes, rounding us out over the summer and ripening in the autumn. Hope you are well.