Archive for November 25th, 2010

My Ice Rink

25.11.10 – With the recent decrease in temperatures and the increase in the amount of snow on the ground, everyone has had to make changes. You walk slower because you don’t want to fall. You wear more clothes because the wind can cut through your first couple of layers and chill you to the bone. What used to be unobstructed paths are now a wintry obstacle course.

Not all changes are bad. I’ve been keeping an eye on the soccer field in the park across the street from where I live because my landlord told me the city converts the soccer field to an ice rink in the winter. After the first couple of weeks of light snow, the groundskeepers would plow the snow off the field and build a small berm around the perimeter. Now that the temperatures are almost always -10°C, each day, they start at one end with a large hose, spraying from side to side while walking backwards. Within two to three days a rough patch of ice taking up half of the field could be seen. Each day it gets a bit larger and thicker.

The groundskeepers are using a different technique from the one I was used to growing up in Ohio. In Ohio, they had a permanent berm made out of earth and on one side of the field was a fire hydrant. When it was cold enough, they cracked the fire hydrant open and flooded the field for a day or two. The two foot deep pond would then take a week or so to freeze.

I don’t know how long the Finnish technique will take. I’m hoping in the next couple of days I’ll see people using the rink. I may not know how long it will take but I do know what the kids and I will do this weekend, buy skates!


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