Saturday, January 29, 2011

Playing in the winter cold - making a colorful ice column.



Last week there wasn't much snow here in Rock City Falls, but it surely was cold. With night time temperatures in the -12 to -15 range, I figured it would be a great time to make some ice columns. There's a real learning curve, even with the cold temps.

I started with two 5 gallon buckets with only about 5-6 inches of water, and some smaller buckets filled with water tinted with food coloring. My idea was to have all of the water freeze, then put the colored ice into the 5 gallon buckets and fill with clear water to create colorful frozen chunks of ice in the center of the clear ice.....guess again.


After about 4 hours at -12 degrees everything looked frozen....so I dumped the small container of red onto the clear.

Oops....not frozen yet. OK I'll just go with it. I added more water and let it sit overnight and into the next day.


The next day it was still cold - only in the single digits, so I made a few buckets of slush ice as a base. The slush buckets got dumped out and carried to the highest point of a hill that snow plowing has created.

Two buckets of snow slush base to build on.

Next is the first bucket of colored ice.

Two full 5 gallon buckets of colored ice and a topper of blue in a smaller bucket - and I'm almost done.

On lookers are impressed....somewhat.

The finishing touch is the candle on top!

I did shiver for a while after getting inside, but it really is fun to play outside in the cold!

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