Tag Archives: winter

Backyard Ice Rink

A Fun Outdoor Activity

This year winter came a little late to Michigan. The cold weather seemed to wait until mid-January to swoop down upon us. Then suddenly we got a bunch of snow and the temperature dropped.

With the Covid pandemic keeping us close to home, we were looking for an activity that would be fun but safe. My wife came up with the idea to build a small backyard ice rink so that the grandkids could have some outdoor exercise.

After a little thought we decided upon a 20′ x 40′ rink. We made a couple of visits to a nearby hardware store to buy 140 feet of 4″ PVC tubing, a bunch of connectors to keep them attached and a bunch of 2″ x 4″s as a support frame. The hardest part was the hours it took to locate a large plastic sheet (30′ x 50′) to hold the water. After buying all of the supplies we were ready to start.

First we had to clear the snow from the area where we want to build the rink.



Next we carefully laid the plastic sheet down over the PVC frame and then filled it with water.



Hurry up and wait. We had to wait for two days for the temperature to do its trick. That’s how long it took for the water to turn to ice thick enough for us to use.



However before skating we have to smooth the surface using our home-made “zamboni”.



Finally a look at the rink after we smoothed out the ice.



The weather has remained cold for February and so the grandkids have been able to use the rink since.

The weather has remained cold so we’re able to continue to use the ice rink. They’re definitely tired of being in lockdown. It’s been a boon to getting the grandkids out and about. The skating and hockey has been a very welcome addition to their activities.

Winter is Fading

This year’s Michigan winter has felt long and unpredictable. December was decidedly frigid and harsh. During other times, we’ve seen surprising warm spells intermixed with lots of cloudy skies, frozen temperatures and snow.

But as I ventured outdoors yesterday, my camera noted a subtle change taking place. I’m seeing that old man winter may be relenting.






Last weekend we turned our clocks ahead an hour – a signal that spring is on its way. I’m hoping for an abundance of sunshine to warm the air.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


First Snow … get out there and enjoy

Today was the first day of appreciable snow in West Michigan with Mother Nature blanketing us with a foot or more.

It’s cold outside – about 20 degrees – but if you bundle up you might appreciate the beauty that comes with the first snowfall.

Here’s a suggestion for the photographers among you. The white fluffy stuff usually “tricks” your camera’s automatic exposure into thinking that it’s brighter outside than it really is. I usually set the camera to add an additional one stop of exposure (+1 exposure compensation) when shooting in the snow so that my pictures don’t appear overly gray and washed out.

Following are a few snaps that I made on a short walk down the street to get my morning coffee.

DSC02749 DSC02752 DSC02753                 DSC02754

                    
DSC02756   DSC02760 DSC02762

Bundle up to stay warm and then get outside to enjoy the outdoor sights!

Wait! – It’s not Winter Yet

I’m Not Quite Ready for the White Stuff

Just the other day I’m talking about the colorful Fall. And then some cold and blustery weather rudely interrupts my plans to get the house winterized. It’s early November and the snow outside is blowing sideways.

What’s a person to do who hasn’t yet raked all of the leave, secured the storm windows, retrieved the snow-melt from the garage and checked out the snow blower?

Well, I didn’t panic. Wearing neither my heavy duty coat nor warm gloves, I grabbed my camera to get a few shots of the white stuff.

For all of my complaining, once I’m outside I kind of like exploring the moisture-laden outdoors.





 

Maybe you can detect that I’m being a little facetious here.

I spent only a few minutes outdoors walking in the yard to take these photos. Yet they’ve recorded what my day was like. As I move from one photo to another I feel the snow falling on my face, my frosty fingers wiping droplets from my glasses, my shoulders shrugging to keep the cold air from rushing down my collar.

Regardless of the weather – rain or snow; sunny or cloudy; hot or cold; – there’s opportunity awaiting you to capture the moment in pictures.