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Posts Tagged ‘mountain’

Icicles at Home

Photographer: Ian Britton

You can see them as you walk and drive around your neighborhoods. Icicles. They hang from roofs and can be long and short. I’ve seen some that stretch all the way down to the ground, nearly covering the entryway or a wall of a home. Yes, winter brings us not just snow but ice.

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal on this topic: Homeowners Beware: After Snow, the Ice Dam Cometh. People use roof rakes, RoofMelt tablets, ice-cutting, electrical ice-melt roof systems, and insulation in an effort to minimize and eliminate snow buildup. Others climb on their roofs and try removing the snow in other ways.

Care is necessary when taking on these projects. One can fall off a roof and be injured. Icicles can fall and hit people. Ice melts and leaves icy patches on stoops.

A friend lives in a 1940’s house. It’s a single story with an attic above. He had considered adding recessed lighting to his living room and kitchen while renovating. I advised against it due to the possibility of future ice dams as a result of heat from the recessed lights entering the attic. My client also wanted to retain as much architectural integrity as possible in the house. Recessed lights were not part of 1940’s architecture. Today his house is free of both recessed lighting and interior water damage from ice dams.

Read more about icicles.

Photographer: Ian Britton

Learn more about ice dams through the University of Minnesota.

Here’s why summer is the best time to prevent ice dams.

Of course, winter is not without its charm. There is plenty of breathtaking beauty to go with winter’s challenges. I am both enchanted and in angst upon sight of the first snowfall of the season. And the long days of winter provide more of both of these emotions in me. Here then, some photos of the prettier side of winter.

Photos by Ian Britton courtesy of FreeFoto.com
All other photos courtesy of BigFoto.com

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H E A V E N ~ O N ~ E A R T H

Today I came across a blog with a writer’s workshop. Instructions:

Post a picture and a description that fits into this quote for you:
“How far to heaven? Just open your eyes and look. You are in heaven” -Shankar

I find heavenly people, places and more all around me each day. Still, one place came to mind for me when I read about this workshop exercise. Oahu. More specifically, The Byodi-In Temple at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. The photo above shows the temple, set amidst the trees and hills to the side and the mountain to the back. Water flows in front of the temple.  This is an ideal setting in Feng Shui. The mountain at the back and the hills to the sides represent protection. The water in front brings prosperity and abundance. I felt an incredible peace here.

The Magnificent Byodo-In Temple translates to “Temple of Equality — not to discriminate” and is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world.

This Buddha is thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times. It towers more than 18 feet and is an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui.

The Bell House, above, contains a five-foot high, three-ton brass bell called bon-sho (sacred bell). It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace and is said to cleanse the mind of evil and temptation. The resonant sound of the bell travels for some distance so one hears it while walking through the temple and along the grounds. The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. I made a short video of the bell being rung when I visited and I listen to it with regularity.

The Byodo-In was built entirely without nails and is a scale replica of a temple at Uji Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago. It is built to represent the mystical phoenix with its wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of the phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect promises of hope and renewal. Isn’t that a heavenly thought?
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Architectural example of building with no nails.

This is the view from inside the temple with the water in front.

This is a meditation space on the grounds.

A view from the meditation area.

This, then, was one experience I had of heaven on earth.
It was all too short a visit. I’d return in a heartbeat.

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More on the Writer’s Workshop:

Mama's Losin' It

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