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EcoSF
Freezing Rain 
27th-Dec-2010 12:20 pm
We continue to flog the climate-change anthology: to order go here: http://www.orbooks.com/our-books/greenhouse/

The publisher covered all bases, by going with "climate change" instead of "global warming" but calling the book Welcome to the Greenhouse, a nice warm title. "Climate change" is much the better description for what's going on, though. The trend of change is a gradual warming, melting of ice caps and glaciers and so on, but the reality on the ground is general destabilization and upheaval. In central Kentucky we fricasseed all summer, then in mid-December were clobbered with an ice storm that left at least a quarter-inch of ice on everything--twigs, fences, my deck and steps, my quarter-mile perpendicular gravel driveway, and everything in between. I was stuck in the house for all of one day--had to let my dog out through the basement, where she had a halfway decent chance of making it to ice-covered grass without skidding uncontrollably in the wrong direction (she skidded but she made it).

Temps stayed below freezing, the ice stayed ice. I had no salt or sand on hand, but the next day I scrounged in the basement for something textured and found an unopened bag of a product called WOW!, which is just granulated wheat gluten that's supposed to prevent broadleaf weeds from germinating. I ordered it a couple of years ago from Gardens Alive! for the strawberry bed, then wasn't sure it should be used on a food crop. So there it still was. I hauled that upstairs, heated a kettle of water, and poured boiling water on the ice right outside the door, then threw handfuls of WOW! in the puddle. When it refroze, voila! something to stand on without falling. I worked my way across the deck, down the steps, across the boardwalk to the parking pad, kettle by kettle and WOW! handful by WOW! handful. Each new assault had to wait for the previous one to refreeze, so it took all day. When I reached concrete I switch to wood ashes, and at dusk was finally able to call Fleece out to do her business where she prefers to do it, in her own fenced yard.

This says nothing about the driveway, which had turned into a glacier, not one of your melting glaciers either. A whole other saga; but I trust my point has been made and illustrated feelingly.
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