Hello, Winter! (and Giveaway Winners)

Hello, winter, what a surprise!
Icicles blooming before our eyes!

Well, not quite like that. But the heavy frost did come as a surprise to me yesterday morning.

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We’ve had skirmishes with frost the last couple weeks, little touches announcing that the hard one is on the way, but up until now we haven’t had anything serious. It’s been chilly, yes, but not quite to the point of freezing.

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The grass close to the sprinkler was heavily iced over. It made the most delightful crunch when stepped on!

Well, two nights ago it arrived. Mom woke up around 12:30, noticed that the air was pretty cold, and turned the sprinkler on. I woke up at 6, realized that my room felt like a freezer, turned my fan heater on, and went back to bed. I got up around 7 when the room was nice and toasty.

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The pumpkin leaves, beautifully encased in ice, looked almost like the plastic food look-a-likes you can buy at some stores.

Then came my morning routine–go in the house to get some hot coffee, and grab the overnight oatmeal with peaches that I had made the night before (you can’t beat pre-made breakfast!). After hearing how the water had been on for about seven hours, and seeing a sample of the icy coating on a pumpkin leaf someone had brought up, I decided that despite the fact that my coffee would get cold, I had to get a few pictures of the beauty out in our ice-encased garden.

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It was more beautiful than words or pictures can describe. I guess God’s creation is normally like that, but I rarely stop to just look and stand in awe.

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The most beautiful thing I saw in that half-hour out in God’s beautiful frozen paradise was the thistle flower. Showcased in a perfect sphere of ice.

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The hollyhock was another favorite specimen.

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I just have to wonder, looking at this…why does God choose to use cold to make such beauty? I don’t enjoy being cold. But yet, perhaps, sometimes He uses things like cold to draw us to Himself.

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The really interesting thing was–once the sun came out and melted away the ice, the plants looked perfectly fine. They hadn’t been frosted. The ice itself kept the plants from dying. There’s a scientific explanation for why this works under certain conditions, and I won’t go into it now. Suffice to say that for us, this was a fascinating experiment, and it was successful this time. If you want to read up on the technical side of why this works, go here.

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Last night, the sprinkler didn’t get turned on early enough, so we did get a little frost damage–it was almost as cold last night as the night before. And from the looks of it, we’ll be getting another good one tonight. But for now, I feel privileged to have been able to see the beauty in our garden, and ponder the spiritual allegories that could be derived from the experience.

And yes, by the time I was finished taking pictures about half an hour later, my coffee was quite cold. It did still taste good, though!

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The intricate ways God made this world are truly incredible!

And for the giveaway winners: Please join me in congratulating Bonnie S, Ashley S, Nancy T, Ross T, and Camy L for winning the One Year Celebration Giveaway! Congratulations, friends–and thank you, all of you, for participating. I wish I could send a prize to each of you, but I can’t. I am planning to host more giveaways just because they’re so fun, so hopefully if you didn’t win this time you can later. 🙂

What was your most memorable experience with ice?

One thought on “Hello, Winter! (and Giveaway Winners)

  1. Those are some superb photographs Esther. I appreciate that you take time to enjoy and photograph what most pass by without even noticing. You are so right – in the nuances of creation, a whole universe exists. So often, we hear it explained that we are specks on the Earth, and the earth is a grain of sand in the solar system, and the solar system is just a pixel in the galaxy… and the galaxy is just a …. and so on.

    But the reciprocal is also true. The universe grows ever more expansive the further out you go…. but also, the further IN you go. Looking at the physics and chemistry of that thistle which is encased in ice, and realising that the processes in each cell have been suspended…. or looking at the forces which hold the globule of water together while it freezes… and realising the fine balance between the force of gravity, which is trying to pull the water to the ground, and the weak nuclear force that prevents the droplet from falling… or, as you have, taking a photograph of it, and considering the beauty of it, the handiwork of God….It’s wonderful. It’s not worshipping creation… it’s acknowledging the intensity of the skill of the one who is the creator and the fine, no impossible but true balance of all of the forces and constants in creation. When you embark on trying to understand such things, you will find that this universe is an enigma inside a conundrum, wrapped in a paradox, inside an impossibility. Yet here it is. And here we are.

    I am so pleased that you appreciate the abundance that the Lord has given to us to enjoy and to consider. Like the great philosophers of old, and scientists for aeons, we can try to understand it all. But we have one advantage that was denied to so many . We know Him. And, we live in a time when we can see more than at any time in history. In knowing Him, we can know His creation more fully. And in perceiving His creation, we can get a glimpse in to the mind of God. As Jesus was the express image of the Creator, so all things were created by Him and for Him, and without Him, nothing would consist that does consist. So when we study creation, we are studying a crystal lattice; a perfectly preserved matrix which records the mind of God and the hand of Jesus at the very time when He said “Let there be…” And there was! 🙂

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