More ice


In spite of waking up to a world encased in ice (because we’re inordinately fond of freezing rain in this part of Eastern Ontario) on Monday, it was a good day. Maybe not for the chickens, whose hatch to the outdoor run frozen shut, but for the rest of us.

Chicken coop and run after freezing rain

My youngest and I started out with a walk around our usual trails with Reggie. My goodness the world becomes a noisy place when you have ice laid on top of snow, every step a resounding crunch.

Young plum tree encased in ice

Even though there wasn’t a very thick layer of snow on the ground (having been dry again for quite a few days until we had another snow on Sunday), the freezing rain made the hill suddenly very attractive for sledding.

Young boy jumping onto a GT Racer

Even I was tempted to grab an old metal sled that goes like a rocket when the ground conditions are that slick (which is why I’m seen here with a hand tentatively on the ground just as I was getting underway).

t the top of the sledding hill

Left to stand in the rain that had resumed, Reggie was fascinated by this whole tobogganing thing.

Black dog watching boy on a sled

Back inside we made a late start to my younger son’s homeschool schedule, but had an amazing day, including a science class that veered into making maple taffy (very fitting for our unit on separating solutions by evaporation and distillation). This makes up for the fact that the last couple of days have been much less productive (in truth, at times frantic and stressful). Looking back and savouring good days, like another recent ice day, is always a boon.

17 thoughts on “More ice

  1. Beautiful post. It’s making me cold, though. This is teaching at its best. Making maple taffy is a perfect way to work through the scientific method and practice math. I bet it tasted good. You’re modeling writing for your son, too. I envy the flexibility that allows you to take full advantage of fortuitous sledding opportunities (a physics lesson–technically). What are you reading?

    1. Thanks for reinforcing the idea that sledding was actually a physics lesson, I love that! I was so pleased with our maple experiment – it happened quite naturally, and then led to us re-reading a chapter from Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder about the time her husband, then nine, fed his taffy to a pig with disastrous results. In terms of our ‘curriculum’, we’re currently reading an account of the Falklands War focused on the logistics of the air conflict (aircraft are very big in my house, and my husband is a Brit), my son is reading the Flat Stanley books every day for his own reading practice (he has been a late reader who finds it hard, but thankfully he loves books), and we’re working our way through a number folktales from around the world for a unit on “tricksters” (definitely a popular theme with this boy). I’ve just found a great children’s book for him for Christmas written entirely in verse (Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind) that looks really cool, and want to make sure we spend some time on poetry.

      1. You gave me some great ideas for reading–thanks! We’re reading Black Beauty–I want something a little more cheerful for our next one. : ) I’m getting the boys this new illustrated version of The Odyssey for Christmas. I can’t remember the author off hand, but the illustrations are captivating. I can’t wait. Love the Trickster tales–check out some of the Navajo stories, too–they’re amazing.

      2. I love the sound of The Odyssey retelling that you’re getting; if you remember the author, I’d love to know! Another novel we enjoyed recently was The Animals of Farthing Wood (Colin Dann); similar vein to Watership Down (one of our family’s absolute favourite books of all time), but with more upbeat humour and some nice takes on familiar themes. I can’t remember when we first connected through our blogs, so in case you missed it, I last posted in detail about our family’s favourite novels here: I love sharing about books, so throw some more ideas back if you feel like it! Thanks for the tip on Navajo tales, that’s a great suggestion.

  2. Beautiful pictures – especially the wire, but oh my that must be chilly. Yes, you lot back East do seem to have a predilection for frozen rain, lol. We just take it straight up out here, and lots of it…

    Maple taffy, yum. My kind of science lesson!

    1. I’d definitely prefer the kind of rain you get, although I appreciate how pretty this destructive stuff can be. Older son was thrilled because the school buses were cancelled and he got the day at home and was obliged to eat maple taffy until he was stuffed!

  3. As cold as it was, those chickens were likely grateful that their hatch door was frozen shut! Reggie is getting so big, isn’t he? Has he been persuaded yet to jump onto the sled?

    1. I think you’re probably right Libby. My husband discovered recently that they like diced, warmed apple, and so we try to take them a warm dish regularly now – it’s the least we can do! Younger son guards his experience of the snow very closely at the start of the season; I think once he relaxes (ie we have more of it more regularly), Reggie will definitely get a spin on a sled!

  4. Like you, we enjoyed the ice on all the trees, but our dog didn’t on the steps. Your pictures are so magical! Winter really does present many learning opportunities doesn’t it? ….even though it’s technically not winter yet lol.

    1. I laughed when I read this. It’s incredible how we do need reminding that winter hasn’t even started yet! That’s a great learning right there 🙂

  5. Loving the photo of the ice on the fence! My walk to the bus was beautiful this morning, the ice crystals clung to the trees like little hairs and made everything look like ferns. I wish I had stopped to take a picture, but I was already late for work (as usual).

    1. Thank you! I especially appreciate that from someone who has been experiencing the same thing first hand. And I’ve also missed so many good photos, so I know just how you feel!

  6. Now that looks like some cold weather! But oh so fun and something that has been completely and utterly missing this year in the US Midwest.. I hope Mother Nature doesn’t make up for it all in January!

  7. You know, I think that’s the best way to spend a day. And your son is going to remember the lessons he learned because I’m sure getting some energy out sledding put him in the right mood for the super creative lesson you taught him. It’s a win-win. And go you for getting on the sled! The last time I was on a sled was last winter, as we haven’t had any snow to speak of this year. I went downhill with our daughter, then my husband followed with our son. He crashed his sled into mine, and somehow our heads collided and I got a mild concussion! I thought I was going to throw-up and couldn’t speak for a few minutes. Suffice it to say that when we go sledding this year, I’m going to require a wide berth. (After that incident, I have now won supreme right-of-way at all exchanges between my husband and me; in the kitchen, in the bathroom, I get to proceed to my destination first!) 🙂

    1. First, let me say that I’m really glad that (a) you suffered no more than a mild concussion and (b) that you’ve quite rightly gained the upper hand in all right-of-way-situations with your husband! That is quite the story! I didn’t get to write about the fact that my husband went sledding the next day and got his fingers jammed between two sleds; one of his nails is absolutely black and will likely come off, but he’s fine. I went sledding when I was early in my pregnancy with my younger son and came down hard on my tailbone; I avoided sledding like the plague for a couple of years after that!

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