Sunday, March 11, 2018


This begins with an icicle named Frederick. Frederick because he is long, and Frederick is a long name. Especially when you say it slowly, drag it out, like Frrre · derrr · rick. Also, it rhymes with rhetoric, which at times is long, also drawn out.

But Frederick is just an icicle. One day he will snap off and be gone, maybe just drip away. So we move on, to something more impressive. More impressive is this unnamed thing, this vast plane of snow that for the past several weeks has been sliding off the roof of the building that I use for storing wood, parking the car, and stuff.

This side of the building is 30, maybe 40 feet long, and the edge of the roof is a bit more than six feet off the ground. It is a metal roof with a gradual slope, not unlike the roof Frederick hangs from, and the building is open to the elements, not heated or insulated in any way, so similar to Frederick’s porch. But one roof’s slope faces north and the other west and the snow that over the winter has piled atop the north-facing slope has slowly, en masse, been sliding off while the other roof has been dropping its load on any slightly warm, sunny day throughout the winter and, lately, has been developing individual icicles, like Frederick. Some of the snow on the north-facing slope has evaporated, I’m sure, on those sunny, warmer days—you can almost see the steam rising—but much has not. I look at this thick drooping plane and do not know how or when it ends. Or what to name it. Is it Otis? Othello?

I thought I might walk under it, take a peek, but as I said, who knows. Who knows when Otis will crash. Josie appears to be more brave, perhaps more foolish.

So I just look through where I fear to tread. First through one end.

Then the other.

The inside of the curve, the underside of the plane, is icy, and it is interesting what you can see in this ice. For instance, here I see a bird in flight.

So off we go, and there it ends.