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  • Roof frost, 8 a.m., Feb. 21, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Published: 2/28/2020 9:44:36 AM

Seems like scraping the ice from our car windows is almost a daily chore. At least in “these here” parts. In central Texas, where I spent my “Wonder” years of driving, ice was such a novelty that no one bothered preparing for it. The hard edge of an ever-present cassette box, about the same width as a store-bought ice scraper, did a fair job — right up until its inevitable epic shattering. (OK, boomer.)

But I am always taken by the random, or not-so-random, imprints that the frost makes. Last Friday it wasn’t the paisley patterns that I often find that grabbed me. After I had burnished the crust from all eight windows — with a real ice scraper — I noticed the little hexagons that had crystallized on my rooftop. I don’t know if they formed upward from the surface or precipitated out of the frosty morning air, or a combination of the two. But close-up they looked like so many jacks, tossed and then stuck, magnet-like, onto the trim. As I took this picture the crystals were just being lit by the rising sun but had not yet melted.

For the next six weeks or so the days will be lengthening by leaps and bounds. And my regulation ice scraper will go into hibernation under my front seat. But it will never leave my car.

— Photo and text by Kevin Gutting

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