What began as a mother's "busy project" turned into a labor of love for a New Zealand man trying to prove his love for his girlfriend.
Native New Zealander, Daniel Gray, and his girlfriend, Kathleen Starrie, where visiting Starrie's parents in Edmonton, Canada during the Christmas holidays. Knowing the couple would be visiting for 5 weeks, Starrie's mother, Brigid Burton, wanted to find a way to keep Gray occupied. She told the Global Edmonton:
"I wanted to keep him occupied, not with my daughter necessarily. I wanted to keep him busy with something else. I didn't want (Dan) to just be twiddling his thumbs while he's here in Canada so I thought, this needs to be something that's got some meat to it."
Burton's plan was to keep Gray busy with an igloo building project. Beginning in October, Burton began asking co-workers and cafes in the area to save their milk cartons. She collected more than 300 cartons according to Gray. She filled the cartons with colored water and froze them to make ice blocks.
Milk cartons full of colored ice bricks.
When Burton told Gray about the project, she let him know it was more than just a way to keep him busy, it was a test of his resolve and love for her daughter. If he completed the job, she would allow Gray to marry Starrie.
The project took five days and nearly 150 hours to complete. Despite temperatures as low as negative 25C (-13F), Gray knew he had no choice but to continue.
Gray and Starrie meticulously put an estimated 500 ice bricks into place, using snow to help keep the bricks in place. Calling it "snowcrete", Gray says adding the snow made it easier to mold and shape the igloo.
According to Gray, the finished product is 2.5 meters in diameter and stands 1.25 meters high.
Multi-colored ice brick igloo.
Although all involved are proud of Gray's accomplishment, Gray and Starrie are not rushing off to get married right away. Gray wanted to prove his love for Starrie, but the couple believes they are still young and want to wait a while before tying the knot. Starrie told the Global Edmonton:
"We're pretty happy to wait for a while."
Gray and Burton took pictures of the igloo's progress, with Gray posting them on Imgur.
The first bricks are laid for the multi-colored igloo.
Gray and Starrie work together to build the igloo.
The mulit0colored igloo nears completion.
Inside view of the igloo.
The igloo at night. Lights are placed inside to help illuminate the igloo.