Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Rollers!

I'm not a fan of winter, as I've stated previously on this blog. I do admit that snow can be pretty, but I hate being cold and dealing with winter driving. As I write this post, the current temperature in Columbus is 2°F and with the windchill it feels like -15°. I've spent a lot of time lately wondering why we don't hibernate during January and February, just to avoid these cold temperatures... I really hate winter.

Today though, I found something worth braving the cold for. Snow rollers! Snow rollers are rare (though not so rare today), naturally occurring snowballs that form when the wind blows a small chunk of ice or plant material in the snow, picking up more snow as it rolls and eventually forming a giant cinnamon roll shaped snowball. 

Kenneth saw snow rollers on his way to school today and I kept seeing pictures of snow rollers on Facebook posted by my friends. They looked like something out of Dr. Suess' wild imagination, a winter game the Lorax might play in the Truffula Forest - I had to see them for myself!

Walking to my car after work, I thought I saw a few snow rollers, but they could have been chunks of snow or ice thrown by kids in the park, they didn't have the distinctive 'cinnamon roll' shape I'd noticed in all of my Facebook friends' photos.

On my drive home I thought I noticed some rollers on the side of the road, mostly along hills, but I couldn't stop anywhere to get a good look at them.

This was the biggest one - it looks like a giant fruit roll up, or a snowy sleeping bag!
Then I pulled into the parking lot of our apartment and saw them. Snow rollers everywhere! Huge snow rollers stuck on the side of a big hill near our building. After parking my car, I made sure my gloves were on snugly, pulled down my hat and grabbed my camera. I stayed outside at least ten minutes getting photos of these guys - they're so cool!

Look at this snow roller roll! Roll snow roller! (Ok... so I pushed this one down the hill so I could see one in action... it was still really cool though).
I know I'm completely nerding out about the snow rollers - but I usually spend the snowiest months of the year in a perpetual state of the grumpies. The past two winters were pretty mild so I had it easy for two years and this has made having really cold temps and tons of snow even harder not be grumpy about. It's nice to find something enjoyable about this miserable weather! 

To learn more about snow rollers, check out their Wikipedia article or read the article, Snow rollers appear in central Ohio, from The Columbus Dispatch.