Sculptural and sparkly. The "ice sculptures" begin to form when the snow slowly slides off of our fancy new metal porch roof, but does not actually fall. Snow boggles the mind. Hundreds, even thousands of snowflakes can be held in your hand at once, blown off the tip of your finger -- if they don't melt first. They are cold, but also known for holding warmth. The smallest flakes are lace-like, fragile; the largest like tufts of cotton. Clinging to each other as the lot of 'em start to slide, the tension must be incredible as the snow starts to bend and curl, and some flakes start to fall away, but not all... there are hangers-on, intrepid little flakes.
The best thing about February is that on the rare days when the sun comes out, its presence and increasing strength is keenly felt. The sun, both in partnership with other factors and alone, works a different sort of magic, as individual flakes are transformed into solid, crystalline masses of varying shape and size. Depending on conditions, they can be freeform and artsy or straight and direct -- either way, they are beautiful.
They are also heavy, sharp, pointy, and potentially dangerous. I don't recall specifics, but I remember one of my sisters being transported on the "milk cart" at our elementary school after she'd fallen on a sidewalk and jagged ice sliced a big gash in her knee. She had to have "dissolving stitches" deep inside, and then the regular kind on the outside; I remember being fascinated with the idea of dissolving stitches. Heh, I still am.
Be careful out there!!