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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Enjoying the winter weather

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am one of those individuals who love winters.

I look forward to the sight of fresh fallen snow glistening in the light.

Some individuals enjoy winter because it means they can go ice skating or ice fishing.

When going ice skating or ice fishing, there are a lot of precautions that should be taken.

One of the first precautions that should be taken is to successfully know whether the ice is dense enough to be on.

There are four different types of ice formations which vary in density.

They are: First ice (or old ice), gray (or black) ice, snow ice and clear ice.

First ice is often formed very quickly. It is soft and will not hold weight, thus you should avoid standing on it.

It forms when the temperatures go below 32-degrees. It is usually an oily-to-opaque color.

Gray ice is in the advanced stage of disintegration and usually is a light gray to dark black color. It cannot hold any weight.

A good sign that gray ice is present is slush.

Slush is a sign that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom up and will not hold any weight and should be avoided.

Snow ice is formed out of snow. It is formed as the snow melts and refreezes to form ice. Due to the freezing and thawing process, it becomes very porous with air pockets, making it weak. Snow ice is white to opaque in color.

Clear ice is the safest ice to be on. It is formed during extended periods of below freezing temperatures.

It will have a blue to greenish tint due to the color of the water.

It is very dense and held together by tight bonds, making it the safest to walk on.

If you do decide to go outside and venture on the ice to skate or fish, there are a few important things to remember.

Ice does not develop uniformly or evenly.

Ice thickness can vary from 1 inch to 12 inches of thickness within a 10-foot area.

Thus, no ice is completely safe.

Ice will quickly lose strength and become unsafe if temperatures go above 32-degrees for six or more hours (within a 24-hour period).

When out on the ice, always wear a personal flotation device.

Often it is not one of the main items you think of grabbing this time of year, but it is important to have.

You should never go out on the ice alone.

Additionally, you should make plans to contact someone who is not with you at a designated time to let them know you are all right.

If they don't hear from you at the designated time, it will let them know that something is wrong and they should alert emergency personnel.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Feb. 12 -- Start of Master Gardeners, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $115 at Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 to signup, and

* Feb. 19 -- Start of Annie's Project, 1-4 p.m. Cost is $75 at Owen County Extension Office. Call 812-829-5020 to signup.