This should have been posted 2 months ago, but we noticed, in the really cold weeks of January, that we had some weird fortress-of-solitude type crystal growth emerging from the turf. Odd, yes? Hoary gelid stalagmites. (You can always remember that stalagmites push up from the ground mightily, while stalagtites hang tight to the ceiling).
The ground between the house and the air conditioning unit is pretty much a cesspool. It's always very wet due to the condensation drainage from the outside unit and a drain pipe from the inside unit. I'm guessing that's what caused this.
A few weeks ago, after the thaw, I dropped a socket wrench from 3 feet, and the thing sank into the muck up to the head. Looked exactly like this:
We've put in a splashpad to redirect some of the moisture away from the foundation, but that won't change the fact that we live in the swamps of sadness. But, you know, happier.