Monday, January 17, 2005

Sparkling Snow

Last night we were driving home from "The Magic School Bus Live" (which the kids loved and we adults thought was okay) when I saw some vertical lights shooting up or coming down from the sky. It looked like one of those spot lights that used car lots have when they have a big sale going on -- except that the lights weren't moving and there were a few of them all in a row. Some of the lights were glowing pink and some were glowing yellow and some were white. I thought that maybe they were a form of Northern Lights, but they weren't. My husband remarked that he had never seen anything like it before. The temperature was about seven degrees and it wasn't snowing. Just then, I remembered something that I heard on the radio by "Mr. Science" about how on really cold nights (this one certainly qualified as really cold!) the humidity in the air freezes and becomes little ice crystals. As lights from the ground (traffic lights, signs on buildings) glow, the frozen crystals refract the light and keep passing it up to the next frozen crystal. That's what was happening last night! It was sooo cool. Then it began to snow and it was so cold that the snow was also little crystals. It looked like it was snowing glitter. It was absolutely magical. As we drove on, we'd see more and more and it was a great show.....a better show for my husband and me than the actual show we had just seen on stage :>

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