Monday, February 3, 2014

Icy, I See

Very round, like an air filled balloon
Yes, it has been very cold here! We don't usually see temperatures in the single digits here, but, this winter, we've had two stretches in the single digits as well as weeks where it doesn't get above freezing.

I have high hopes that this will kill off a lot of bugs.

The cold weather has been fun for many reasons, not the least of which has been having snow on the ground for weeks! Usually, even when it does snow, the snow is gone within three days.

When you have something unusual, see what you can do that you can't usually do.

I used to have to try to think this way, but the Zoomlians come by it naturally.

the white spot on top was an air bubble
Zorg wanted to try freezing a water balloon.  It was interesting: it looked like it was filled with air - it didn't flatten out the way water balloons do in summer.

We put it outside at around 12 degrees F in the afternoon, and left it overnight at 6 F (-14C).  It was out about 18 hours.

It seemed solid enough, so we tried popping it.  That was harder than it looked.

 The balloon had frozen to the ice and was hard to peel off.

Once we had it started, we saw this beautiful crystal sphere, streaked with bubbles.  Suddenly, the center started pulsing rhythmically, like a heart!

The balloon had been lying on snow, and the snow from below and the ice forming above had insulated a large pocket of water and kept it from freezing.  It was gushing out of a hole in the balloon, pausing as a vacuum formed within, then gushing out again.

The sunlight on the balloon lit up the movement of the water in a way that was both eerie and beautiful.
The water seeped into the balloon shaped depression

Once the water had drained away, Zorg picked up the hemisphere of ice.

What a beautiful and fascinating experiment!

We want to repeat this when we need a bowl of ice for candles or a really cool party dish!

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