My Stalagmite

As my Covid-19 and winter hibernation has continued, a stalagmite outside the door to my suite has evolved. In the absence of anything else to look at, I have been noticing how it has changed.

This ice tower grows beneath the vent from the furnace to my home. As the hot air leaves the house, the cold outside air transforms the moisture in the air into water drops which immediately become ice when it is cold enough. I’m not sure how cold it has to be for that to happen, but I’m guessing about -10C. If anyone can provide a more scientific assessment, please let me know.

I first noticed this in March 2020 when I returned from California. At the time, it was a rounded chunky frozen deposit at the side of the house.

As this winter has continued to become more pandemic-ally isolating and cold, my stalagmite has grown taller, fallen down, regrown, and developed a twin tower.

Today the temperature reached 5C and I expect to lose my frigid phallic friend quite soon, so I thought I should record it for posterity. If this seems like an odd thing to celebrate, I should point out that in Edmonton we have experienced a 40 degree temperature change within a week. That does strange things to a person’s mind.


  1. Okay Anne, you have surpassed the level of best descriptive phrase by leaps and bounds. “Frigid phallic friend” will go down in the annals of apropos wording. Laughter abounds! Thank you!

  2. Raining cats and dogs this morning here in Jo’burg – thank goodness -, but for the past three days temps have soared.
    You experienced -35c …. it clocked +34c here at the Ark’s spot yesterday.

    As for your ‘frigid phallic friend’ – don’t be too hard on yourself, I’m sure your posterity and choice of phrase are perfect.

    Here’s to warmer, mask-free days.

    • Wow. +34c sounds uncomfortably hot. I hope you have air conditioning in your house. Extreme temperatures at either end of the scale are hard to live with, but somehow we get through them. I am hoping this is the beginning of the end of our winter, but I know there is yet more to come.

  3. Anne, you are a much better caregiver than I. When we were leaving the house one morning, I saw a similarly frigid phallic friend. I’m afraid I cut him down at once. Cruel! Now I feel bad.

    (For some reason, I haven’t been able to comment on your posts for the past month or so. Still reading though!)

    • Haha. You are probably a much more practical caregiver than I. Don’t feel bad. Both our friends will be gone soon if this weather keeps up.

      I don’t know why you haven’t been able to comment on posts. I haven’t changed any settings. I’m glad you are able to do so now, though.

Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.