1 : the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor
2 : a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse
: a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

Meltdowns: We’ve all heard about the first kind and actually seen the third kind. Think of a toddler (by age or by temperament) confronted by some aspect of reality not to their taste and not under their control. It’s never a pretty sight.

But when snow does a partial meltdown, it can be a beautiful thing.

3-photo collage of tiny icicles on a shrubI may have mentioned once or twice that I’m not a fan of snow, but under the right conditions I’m beginning to appreciate ice.


I was looking for a word to parallel last week’s title – Snowmageddon – and found “debacle”. Well, I knew “debacle” before, of course, but I did not know its (French) origins.

In its original uses, “debacle” meant a breaking up of ice,
or the rush of ice or water that follows such an occurrence.
Merriam Webster

Not really helpful as a synonym for a dripping icicle, but fun to know anyway.

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8 Responses to Meltdown

  1. Beautiful ice! One of the great contradictions – beautiful and dangerous. Sometimes cold but sometimes the signal of warmth.

  2. These glimpses of the death of winter’s ice-lock merge with the lengthening days to rekindle hope of many kinds. Depending on how you bookmark the signs of the changing seasons, the end of January feels to me like a “past the worst of it” signpost. Many meltings and refreezings await, but the tinkling and splashing of early spring awakens in memory. The paper-shredder-cleaning squat that qualifies as a symbolic endurance test for surviving winter will soon end. These photo gems are reminders of the intense beauty of other common things we too often rush past without due appreciation. This ice I can taste.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – LOL – a squat as a metaphor for surviving winter (and pandemics, too, I suppose?). I like it.

  3. barbara carlson says:

    You’ll be appreciating snow paintings from John yet! 😀

  4. Alison says:

    I HAVE one of John’s snow paintings! Actually more of a Spring painting with remaining snow piles. I love the promise it shows. I’m missing your bird photos- surely they are at your feeder? No melting in Alberta today- but it’s ok. I have nowhere to go anyways

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – LOL. There you go – no arguing about taste. John will be glad to know you love it.

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