We went snowshoeing on the lake last week and witnessed something neither of us has ever seen. The fog that formed before our eyes appeared much the same way as the dust trail following a car driving down a dirt road on a hot summer day.

A wedge of fog formed just above the ice. The wedge grew taller and darker as it quickly travelled across the ice. And then — it stopped. Wavy lines appeared in the fog, reminding us of roller coaster tracks. It felt like being on the set of a sci-fi movie.

Our neck of the woods is extra beautiful just now. A series of foggy days has left a milky white layer of frost on every tree, bush and blade of tall grass. I received a couple of emails questioning why television meteorologists are calling it “rime ice” and not “hoar frost.”

Basically, rime ice and hoar frost look about the same to us civilians. Weather aficionados and experts know that the difference between the two lies in the source of the icing.

Rime ice is formed in foggy conditions when water droplets freeze on a surface. Hoar frost occurs in clear air when water vapor turns directly to ice on a surface without first becoming liquid. The results of either type of ice can be beautiful to look at, but can turn deadly if either accumulates on the surface of a plane in flight, a ship at sea or, as we all know, on trees and electrical wires during a wind storm.

Living as far north as we do, many of us listen to Canadian AM radio stations. Their weather reports always give temperatures in degrees Centigrade. To convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit, simply multiply Centigrade degrees by 9, then divide by 5, and finally add 32. Or . . . just ask your cell phone.

Have you ever wondered about the jets flying high overhead? Where are they going, where are they from? You can find out by checking flightaware.com. This site will tell you not only the routes of planes overhead, but also the type of plane and the carrier. Your cell phone will even show you the route.

This past week, planes from Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver flew over our neck of the woods on their way to Toronto. These flights were by Air Canada and West Jet (a Canadian air carrier.) Delta flights from JFK to Seattle are regulars. Atlas Air Cargo routinely flies 747s from Chicago to Anchorage while China Southern and China Eastern fly 747s and 777s from Chicago to Shanghai, non-stop! Can you imagine being on a plane that long?

Some of the jet contrails you see might be Japan Airline flights between Chicago and Tokyo. If you do see a jet at high altitude, it very well may be above 30,000 feet and going a long ways.

Closer to home and on the ground, there have been reports of elk sightings along Clear Lake Road. Bobcat sightings are also coming in. I will let you know where after bobcat season is over. If you have any interesting wildlife sightings, please share.

Some details about the Relay For Life Ski and Snowshoe event have come in. It will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Highway OO Trailhead. A $10 donation to Relay For Life includes: star dedication, hot cocoa, lit ski loop and snowshoe trail, prayer loop and bonfire.

You can actually attend, or if you prefer you can participate virtually. Pre-registration is encouraged, but you can register in-person at the event. Please do wear a face mask. The event is sponsored by First Lutheran Church in Hayward. Go to www.relayforlife.org/sawyercountywi for all of the details and the registration form.

The “star dedication” mentioned above refers to a paper star that is attached to a board for all to see. The names on the stars are of loved ones who are fighting or who have survived cancer, or of someone who lost a fight with cancer. I can tell you from personal experience that it is touching and humbling to see your own name on a star on that board. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to put someone’s name onto a star, go to the website.

Another fun event is being planned, the third annual Fishing Has No Boundaries Chili Cook-off on March 6. Watch for details at www.Haywardfhnb.org. If you would like to enter your chili, call the FHNB office at (715) 634-3185, ext. 4.

If you are looking for an adventure, there are a lot of winter trails in our neck of the woods to explore. The Cable Natural History Museum has snowshoe rentals available, with sizes for adults and kids, big and small. Go to www.cablemuseum.org for details. Click “rentals” under the “Visit” arrow.

Jan. 15 is National Booch Day. I had to look that up. “Booch” is the insider term for kombucha. It is made by mixing tea (black, green, red, or white) with sugar and other ingredients, and fermenting at room temperature for seven to 14 days with a specific mix of yeast and bacteria. It is said to “quickly detoxify” you.

And in case you are interested in getting your toxins back after Booch Day, Jan. 17 is hot-buttered rum day.

I wonder what beverage Bob and Diane Sosnowski will choose to celebrate their anniversary, which is Jan.15. Have a really happy one, you two!

Sue Dale’s birthday is on Jan.16. Carole Dujmovic’s is on Jan. 19. Chris Diem celebrates a birthday on Jan. 20. A very happy birthday is wished to each of you.

Donna Nickel can be reached at (715) 462-9207 or at seulechoix@aol.com.

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