A late December bedecking of Yukimarimo around Summit Station seemed like “a present befitting the season,” wrote Ben Toth, whose team is keeping the NSF-funded research station and its ongoing experiments running through mid-winter.
“These little snowballs occur when fine frost layers form on the snow surface at cold air temperatures,” Ben explained. “These balls form due to weak wind conditions and become mobile, like little tumbleweeds across the surface, collecting in pockets sculpted by drift or in footprints.”
Ben says the team of five “finished off the year with a productive week sandwiched between the two holidays. Christmas Sunday was celebrated with the requisite Christmas tunes, a lit tree, decorations, and a Kiwi-style meal of “good tucker.” Rack of lamb and pavlova was on the menu as was roasted squash (the very last) and amazing maple syrup pies.
“New Year’s Eve was celebrated [with] a plethora of appetizers. . . . The tapas-themed meal segued into a comfortable evening counting down to 2012. All hands made it to midnight but retired shortly thereafter, rising somewhat later than usual on New Year’s Day to spectacular light and clear weather bringing in the new year.”