Fire and Ice

One of the advantages of living near the site of two former Winter Olympics is that world class events often take place right in our backyard. Last week we watched speed skaters on the olympic oval where the 1932 events were held. Not much has changed with ice maintenance. Between heats, staff skated with buckets of water to fill in the grooves.

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They also did something with a CO2 fire extinguisher to repair the ice, which intrigued me. Here is all you may ever need to know about Olympic ice rink maintenance. For a rapid repair, they fill in holes with room temperature water and slush and then hit it with pressurized CO2 for a quick repair.

The skaters were almost horizontal on the curves. They had special gloves to touch the ice.

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Some of the skaters were just a blur, or was that my mad photo skill.

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We are still able to take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont. I go every couple of weeks to study French. The views and ride are always a delight. Last week there were ice covered cliffs with ducks swimming beneath them. Sometimes the only open water is in the ferry path.

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And the cardinals continue to enjoy our copper ash tree and sunflower seeds. No filter this time.

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Cardinals are such a treat to see at the feeder in winter when the landscape is comprised of shades of grey. The first photo doesn’t really capture the bright red hue the males display in winter.

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I may have gone a little overboard with my photo editing. But it makes me smile.

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Who doesn’t like to play in the snow

I found myself in a staycation with 2 feet of snow at home and more than 4 feet of powder in the mountains.  And I had a free pass to Whiteface!  So off I went to ski.  The day was perfect, 27 degrees, sunny, light breeze.  There may have been a few too many yahoos for my liking, due to a Canadian school holiday, but I found plenty of places to be on my own on the mountain.  Basically I am a princess and conditions have to be just right.  This was my first day downhill skiing of the season!  Before it was too cold, too crowded, too windy, too icy.

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I had progressed far enough on the baby blanket I am weaving to take a break.

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The cardinals look like they have been having fun at our feeders and in the snow.  The male’s vibrant red against the fresh snow is stunning. Red squirrels tunnel and burrow under the snow and jump from tree to tree.

Today I am too sore to play in the snow, the blanket is more than half way done and we are off to the opera! sort of.  We’re actually going to see a live simulcast of La Traviata. It’s the best we can do here in the mountains.