Gutter chunk

Gutter chunk

It is a balmy 49 degrees outside today … which means the alien ice invasion has been halted, at least for now.

Not only has the spread of the ice halted, but it is actually melting (just a bit of additional info for those of you who weren’t able to figure out that 49 is greater than 32). And, based on the many snarky comments from readers who live where ice is known only as something one places in one’s drink when one is lying poolside sunning oneself while those of us in the Northeast are shivering uncontrollably, some of you have no idea what real “winter” is like, so I thought you might enjoy another glimpse of life in the Arctic tundra.

So this here chunk of ice is one of several that the gutter downspout near our back door coughed up today. You can see a couple more of them, and the gaping maw of the downspout from which they emerged, right here, in fact. (I was thinking about using this one for today’s Photo of the Day, but it looked a little too phallic for me … and since I’m already freezing mine off anyway, I don’t really need to be reminded.)

You see, when it snows, and your house is as poorly insulated as our little cape, the snow sitting on the roof begins to melt immediately … until it arrives in the gutter and proceeds to the downspout, both of which emit no heat whatsoever … so the runoff from the snow then begins to freeze in the gutter and in the downspouts, until eventually the downspout is completely filled with a solid block of ice, at which point the water begins to drip over the edge of the gutter … and onto your snow-brush/ice-scraper, for example.

When at last the temperature rises above freezing, and things begin to thaw, the ice mold in the downspout finally melts and breaks apart and emerges from the gaping maw of the downspout (yes, I already used that phrase, but how often do you find a legitimate reason to use the term “gaping maw”? I’m enjoying it while I can).

Someday, I will show these pictures to my neighbors in Sedona or Los Cabos or Key West or Hawaii or wherever it is I’ll be spending January through April each year. Mark my words.

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  1. E
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    While I was in Tucson, I didn’t have my RSS feed, but now that I’m back in Austin, I’m glad I can catch up on all your great house stories. See I was able to write a comment, without a single snarky weather comment!

  2. ashley
    Posted March 7, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Arctic Tundra my ass. Screw your 49′, up in in Canada in the actual arctic tundra (ok not really, I’m pretty far south from the arctic) It’s still -8′ in your crazy fahrenheit (thank you goolge for your quick conversions), and it’s warmed up from last week. So I feel no pity for you and your snow.

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