Icy patterns, a volcanic fizzer, and it blows a gale at Casey this week.

Icy patterns

Through the winter months ice formations, referred to as ice ferns and ice flowers form on glass.

They are formed by humid air contacting the sub zero glass pane, in this case the windows in the green store on a day when the outside temperature was −30°C.

These icy patterns seem to grow like plants and resemble ferns or flowers, hence their name.

Dust and other matter present on the glass can change the way these formations occur.

In this case droplets of water that had been melted by the sun on the inside of the double glazing the day before. These patterns were then created as the ice formed over night.

Brain Break

At Casey we decided that National Science Week should not go by without some sort of acknowledgment.

Ali, Dan and Stu had already participated in the schools video conference, answering questions from school children outside in −30°C. A lot of fun but cold on the noses and lips.

On Thursday, usually a day when we don’t have smoko (hot breakfast), Eddie made nachos, but you could only nibble if you did so while doing one of the ‘Brain Break’ quizzes. These proved very popular and we were soon finding out why bats are more like humans than kangaroos, and how large the heart of a blue whale is.

And of course it wouldn’t be National Science Week if Ali didn’t say something about rocks. She put out a display of various granite types and the minerals they are made up of, plus a ‘mystery’ rock that turned out to be a piece of coal! 

Eddie, the chef on station, also made a very skinny, multicoloured volcano. But as the acid was added, we only got a piddly orange fizz — it just goes to show that following a recipe is not a chef’s forte.  

Casey blowing

Mostly we take photos of Casey looking its best in bright sunlight on a clear calm day. That gives a somewhat false view that we always have good weather and life down here is easy.

Today it was blowing a blizzard and we were confined to the red shed (unless it was essential work). I didn’t even attempt to poke a camera out of the door. But last week when it was also blowing but not quite so strongly, I stopped to take some images on the way up to the operations building.