One school morning last week I happened to check the weather before sending the Teen and Tween out the door.  27°F and “Snow Grains” was the report.

What are “Snow Grains?”  They are, I have learned, “grains of snow that look like grains of rice.” I can not think I am the only one who didn’t know that.  Snow grains are not to be confused with hail, however.

With our first snowfall came sightings of these red and white poles attached to many buildings, you’ll recall.

I thought they were ice-poking sticks. What do I know.  It turns out they are “Dachlaweine,” safety notices to warn passersby of “roof avalanches.” And they come in several varieties.

 This one seems to be the common model. Earlier in the day I had seen a small collection of candles beneath the giant icicle, and by afternoon the candles had been replaced by the Dachlaweine pole. A day later two workers (yes, TWO) came to remove the icicle, but the pole remained.

The advanced common model, as I refer to it, with explanation ostensibly for people like me.
Not sure if this is old-school or new-school, but it is the only one of its kind I’ve spotted.

Finally, this one seems contemporary. I guess only the German, English, and French-speaking passersby in my neighborhood need to be warned.

Temperatures are on the rise here this week, so I suspect the “roof avalanches” may give way to “organized rain.”