Amarillo family builds 7' snow serpent - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Amarillo family builds 7' snow serpent

AMARILLO, TX - Canada's version of the Loch Ness Monster swam it's way down to Amarillo for the winter.

Or at least a replica of the beast can be found on the front lawn of the Stadler family's house.

And it's made entirely out of snow.

Brian and Jennifer Stadler were trying to come up with fun things to do when their relatives from California came to visit.

Then the snow storm hit the Panhandle, and they decided to make use of the snow.

Originally, the plan was to use the snow to recreate a scene from the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes."

Until Jennifer approached her husband and cousin, David Ryan, with a picture of a sea serpent.

The first step was to gather as much snow as possible into a six foot block.

Ryan, who studied at an art school, said he knew if they could gather that much snow then they could build anything.

The three family members worked for a total of eight hours over two days to complete the head and neck of the serpent.

Neighbors would drive by during stages of the construction, making incorrect guesses about what the outcome would be.

When people thought it was a snow cave, a tunnel, or the arch in Moab, Utah, the confusion made Ryan and the Stadlers determined to work hard and make clear what they were building.

They wanted to add more humps to the serpent, to make it look like it was swimming through the yard, but two factors were working against them: temperature and time.

It was Jennifer's idea to wear plastic gloves over wool ones so their hands wouldn't get too cold handling snow for so long.

Snow in their yard started to harden, but the family used that to their advantage to carve details into the serpent, which now feels more like ice than snow.

Ground up charcoal was used to add color and detail to the serpent's eyes, nose and horns.

A paint scraper was the tool of choice to carve scales and defining lines into the body.

So far the only problem the Stadlers face is one spike on the serpent's back that keeps falling off.

Their goal for the next storm? Build a full serpent that swims through the whole yard.

Until then, they're happy with the work they've done as a family.

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