My front porch didn’t get hit bad, but the walkway and driveway are all ice. Over the last 10 days we’ve had a winter storm, record wind chills, a heat wave up to 50° that melted all of the snow, and now this freezing rain. Crazy weather changes!

April 14, 2018 Storm in Saginaw, Michigan

On Thursday it was 64° when I ran outside. Then we had a winter storm come through the weekend.


Since it’s rare to get a storm this late in the year, I thought it would be neat to document it.

My makeshift ruler and stand was a complete failure; it blew over, spun around, and wasn’t readable. I’m happy with the rest of the project though. I really like the worms crawling around, seeing the water freeze, and how the lines of the bricks come through.

I used a Raspberry Pi Zero W and the camera module.

In order to get images for the time-lapse I added cron job that ran a bash script every minute, which in turn called raspistill to capture a photo. It was very easy to set up. Here is the bash script.


DATE=$(date +"%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S")

raspistill -vf -hf -o /home/pi/time-lapse/images/$DATE.jpg

This is the line I added to my crontab.

* * * * * /home/pi/time-lapse/

Before transferring all of the images to my Mac, I compressed the images folder.

tar -czvf images.tar.gz images

Then, from my Mac I could grab them by doing a secure copy.

scp pi@pi.local:/home/pi/time-lapse/images.tar.gz images.tar.gz

In order to stitch everything together, I imported the images into iMovie, changed the crop style to fill, and set a 0.01 second duration.

Be Careful with Ice

I took this picture about 24 hours after icing. This is what happens when you apply ice directly to your skin. Don’t do this.

BTW, taking a picture of your own back is no easy task.

Evaporating Ice Cubes

I filled up 2 ice cube trays a month ago when I got here and tonight is the first time I went to use the ice. I was surprised to only find half as much ice as I expected. I have never seen anything like this. The ice appears to have evaporated leaving only 2 points of contact per ice cube. Something to do with the air in Arizona? Or maybe the water?