I awoke this morning and wandered outside to inquire of my servants when breakfast would be served, and to inform them that my water dish had frozen once again.
To my astonishment, the view from my porch was different in a very strange way. The air was still freezing cold and a white powdery substance was on everything - the ground, bushes, walls roofs. Luckily, my house is under an awning so was not affected by whatever it is.
After breakfast, I sat on my patio, unsure of what to do. Is it safe to walk on? My house is well insulated, I have a door flap, and my bed is heated to just above my body temperature. My servants had put a blanket over the house as well to keep out drafts. [This is not recommended if the blanket could become wet, but the awning prevents that]. As you might imagine, I was reluctant to venture outside. Good thing I have my winter coat on.
Pandabonium came out to walk the burnable rubbish to the local collection site down by the temple. He seemed to be amazed as well, but had no trouble walking around on the stuff, so maybe it was OK.
I tasted it. No flavor and wet like water, but very cold, and it stuck to my chin. K assured me that this rarely happens in Kashima City, and almost never stays on the ground for very long. But this has been a record cold winter and other parts of Japan have seen a lot of this stuff.
I have decided to go back to bed and sleep a while. The sun is peeking through the clouds and warming things a bit. Maybe when I wake up again this white stuff will be gone. Until then, please do not disturb me.