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Ice and flowers

I saw this photo on Facebook (or somewhere) and thought how lovely it was. It reminded me of when I was a small child, when we lived in inland Victoria (my state) on the border of New South Wales. Up there, in winter, the nights were often very cold, and the frosts were bitter. But it never snowed. We had to drive up into the mountains to see snow.

I was four when we moved to that house and turning seven when we left, and those frosts taught me that Jack Frost and the pictures he made were real. I loved gazing into those intricate, layered swirls of ice that covered the windows and seeing images and stories in them. They reminded me a little bit of the twisty, detailed Arthur Rackham illustrations from some of my story books, only more mysterious. Jack Frost’s pictures were never the same and quite ephemeral — they’d melted away by mid-morning.

Another thing I loved about those frosts was making ice ornaments — not like the ones in these photos, but along the same principle. I’d arrange flowers and pretty leaves in a saucer — geraniums, japonica, whatever was in flower — then half fill the saucer with water and put it out on the back step to freeze overnight. In the morning, thrilled to bits with my icy ornament, I’d proudly bring it inside to display on the breakfast table.

I love the thought of these hanging ice ornaments. A lot of the blogs that describe them are blogs for children, but in some of us, the child within never fades (luckily) and I would love to make hanging ice ornaments now. Alas, it’s summer here, and though I could make them in the freezer, somehow it’s not the same as letting nature (or Jack Frost) do it. And they’d probably only last about ten minutes in the heat, if that.

Even when I was a child, the bitter cold of those winter nights never lasted long. My memory of primary school (elementary school) is that I’d go to school wearing a blazer and a jumper (pullover) over my uniform. (School uniform isn’t always compulsory at elementary school level, but a lot of kids wear it.) By morning playtime the blazer would be hanging on a hook, and by lunchtime the jumper would have joined it.

The pretty image on the left is from this website, and if you want to see some more techniques and ideas go here.  I rather liked this one which incorporated birdseed into the ornament, to help the birds survive winter. 

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theo
theo
7 months ago

Those are lovely! I never did those as a child. I just never saw anything like that. I used to lay in bed on a Saturday morning with a book and watch the frost on the window as the sun came through, how it would change and melt even though it was below 10 degrees outside. We had a lot of frost too because the windows were old, single pane with not much to keep the cold out. I might have to try that since it’s been below 10 degrees here most mornings lately.

Roseanne
Roseanne
7 months ago

They are stunning photo’s. And that they are practical as well as beautiful is a bonus. Thank you for sharing.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
7 months ago
Reply to  Roseanne

My pleasure, Roseanne.

Marianne
Marianne
7 months ago

Love the comparison with Arthur Rackham’s illustrations. It’s winter here with frost pictures even on double glazing…

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
7 months ago
Reply to  Marianne

Wow, even on double glazing? That’s cold. And yes, I always loved Arthur Rackham paintings and drawings, even though some of them were a bit scary. (g)