the backyard rink
JANUARY 19, 2007
I've been watching the long-term forecasts carefully waiting for a week-long freeze. Those of you who know me know that I am an avid backyard rink builder.
I think this was a second year effort (2002). Not bad, the kids were pretty small at the time. My studio light is on in the barn.
Global warming (or maybe a very tired and useless old man winter) has made it very hard to perfect my technique last year and up until now, this 'winter'. Last week the grass was green. This week, we finally have some snow on the ground.
I use plastic sheet laid out on the ground and a hose. I also put up boards as well. The trick is to lay down the ice about a 1/4 inch at a time and build it up. I wait for those icy cold nights that freeze up your nose hairs and you can see all the stars overhead. Put on plenty of layers and go out when any sensible creature is staying warm under the covers or by the fireplace.
The thing is-- if you have kids-- if you build a rink one year, then you are expected to keep the tradition going. Last year, the grass was green in January and I didn't start the rink until February. Before we could skate on it, a major thaw set in melted all my efforts. I was a broken man.
This year I am cautiously optimistic. Watching the forecasts and waiting.
Does anybody else miss winter?
This is what the rink should look like, weather permitting.