Carol S Newman John E Short RULH Elementary names ‘Go Green’ Students RE/MAX Local Experts opens in Williamsburg RULH wraps up ‘No Shave November’ fundraiser Eleven indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpson Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Ohio Rural Heritage Association donates to Food Pantry RULH FCCLA attends meeting in D.C. RULH MS students try ‘Tabletop Twitter’ Ripley Village Christmas update Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Formation of new joint Fire & EMS District discussed RULH students learn about ‘Global Food’ Personal financial management class at RULH High School Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death ‘Real Money’ at RULH Middle School Ripley High School celebrates Veterans Day Reward increases for information leading to conviction in Stykes’ murder Ripley Village Christmas update Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Aberdeen Police Department receives ‘Shop With a Cop’ donation Benefit to take place Nov. 17 for Grace Copple St. Michael students take part in Community Soup Supper Voters return Worley to the bench Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves RULH MS students hold first Science Club meeting Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill

Frost shadows

It was still dark out when I put the coffee water on the stove to boil. I leaned forward to peer through the kitchen window, as the cold night turned into a chilled grey day, glad to be quite toasty warm in my flannel nightgown.

I could feel the warmth of the wood stove at my back, as warm air gently circled around the cabin, blown by the little eco fan that sits on top of the stove. I am not quite sure how the little fan really works, but vaguely understand that it is based on the same electron flowing principal as our solar panels, except that the little fan runs on heat. Apparently electricity is generated by the difference between the temperatures of the wood stove and the fan. This difference works to knock electrons off of a metal plate in the fan, so that the plate’s free flowing electrons can than operate as a current to spin the fan’s blades, and spread the stove’s warmth across the cabin.

Warmed and thankful for this wonderful invention, I stood at the window, waiting for the coffee water to boil. Slowly the day outside grew lighter, and in time I could see that the entire upper field was covered with a thick layer of white frost. By the time that I poured our first cups of coffee, and we sat down to breakfast, the sun had risen just above the hills on the far side of the creek, and after breakfast, as we headed outside to do the morning chores, the sun was climbing even higher into the clear blue sky. It was then that I noticed the first frost shadows.

The upper field is dotted with our farm structures. There are the windmill tower, the pigeon gazebo, the chicken coop with its solar powered door, the raised herb bed, and of course the solar panels and cabin. Where the sun shown down on the frost covered ground, the frost was quickly melting and green grass was showing through. But where the frost was still covered in elongated morning shadows, the white covering was perfectly intact.

We have an old iron bathtub in the field just behind the windmill tower. I currently consider it a piece of eclectic yard art, though I do plan to someday turn it into a wood fired hot tub. I have decorated it with a metal pinwheel that turns by day, and an array of colored solar lights that glow eerily, reflecting off the porcelain interior by night.

The tub was still in the shadow of the tower, but as I looked towards it, it seemed to be somewhat fuzzy. I took off my glasses and gave them a good cleaning them on the sleeve of my fleece jacket, but with glasses back on the tub was still fuzzy. I walked out into the field for a closer inspection, and as I neared, I could see that the tub was covered thousands, if not millions, of small ice crystals, some easily as tall as a blade of grass is wide. They rose from the tub’s porcelain rim like the tiny shards of a miniature super hero’s ice palace, randomly jutting this way and that.

The goats bleated. The rabbits thumped in their cages. The ducks quacked, and the pigeons fluttered on their roosts. Yes, yes, it was time to get the animal chores done, but as I passed back by the tub with buckets of fresh water, I saw that the tower shadow had shifted, and sunshine was beginning to fall on the white porcelain surface of the tub. As I watched, I could see the miniature shards, sparkle for an instant in the sun, and then were lose their grip, and slide into the interior of the tub, turning into droplets of thawed dew water.

I had never noticed the crystal covered tub before, and that tub has been in the same place for years, patiently waiting for my wood fired, hot tub dream to come true. So this morning, when the ground was again covered with frost, I went out to the tub to visit the crystals, but they were not there. Perhaps the dew point had to be just so, and the drop in temperature just perfect, so that the little crystals could grow on the white porcelain surface. I do not really know, but one thing is for sure. From now on, I will always take the time to pause in the frost shadow of the windmill tower, with hopes of finding the crystals again.

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