After weeks of milder winter weather, we find ourselves back in the negative mid-twenties. They say the weather could be this way for a week or two. When we’re deep in the coldest days of winter, I like to remember sublimation.

Sublimation is the transition of frozen water from solid to gas without passing through a liquid state. When air is extremely dry, snowpack can evaporate into vapour. This is how on the coldest days, snow and ice can still disappear, despite it being far below melting temperatures.

When the wind is biting, and the thaw feels far off, I can put on my long johns and scarf and go out and shovel the driveway anyway, because if I can clear a layer, maybe nature will reward me with a little magic and turn some of the remaining ice to vapour.