For Polega family: Have snow, will sculpt

Published 4:36 am Thursday, February 5, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- While many people frown upon the snow storms that drape our area with inches of accumulation, Niles resident Tim Polega and his family are always looking forward to them.
Polega, owner of God's Green Earth, kept up his winter tradition this year by building an impressive snow sculpture of a giant snake.
With the help of two of his six children, T.J. and Erin, the large coiled snake took Polega three and a half hours to build.
The two home schooled children spent their Tuesday morning outside with their father building the snake from 8 to 11:30 a.m.
As owner of God's Green Earth, the design of water garden, ponds and other landscape features is part of his job.
Polega said there is an indirect connection between the landscape design and his hobby of creating snow sculptures.
Polega has lived at 1035 S. Lincoln for four years now and he has tried to do some sort of sculpture each year.
Due to the fact that there was not much good snow last year, the family just made eight snowmen, one for each family member.
But in the two previous years, Polega constructed elaborate sculptures of a castle and a whale.
The castle was complete with steps leading up to a lookout point and a slide that wrapped around the side.
Like his previous sculptures, the snake is big enough and strong enough for the children to climb on and like an igloo, it has a large opening in the back that allows the kids to play inside of the snake.
Polega's sculpting process is much like the of building a snowman, expect on a much grander scale.
He uses his hands to shape and smooth the snow and a large bread knife to carve the details with.
Polega said the snow must be perfect for him to take on a task like this one. It must be the right temperature and consistency for it to work.
The snake's tail is like that of a rattlesnake and was built by stacking a series of large snowballs together.
They used a stick for the snake's forked tongue and found two candles in the house that work perfectly as eyes.
Suzi said the snake gives the kids something to play with when they go outside.
On a visit to the Polega's home on Wednesday, the kids shouted out plenty of ideas for their dad's future sculptures.
According the children, we may be seeing such sculptures as a school bus, a pyramid, or even a swimming pool in the years to come.