Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Very Ice Day for a Walk on the Lake

It's snowing like mad on Saturday night, and by Sunday we should have rain.  Ugh!  But Saturday morning was cold and dry, so cold that Moreau Lake had frozen solid overnight with an ice so clear and smooth, we might have thought it was still open water when my friend Sue and I met there to walk the shore.



Although the "Thin Ice" signs were posted on the beach, we could see by the depths of the visible cracks that we could probably walk on the ice if we stayed close to shore.  But it did give a slightly scary sensation to walk on ice so clear and slick we felt we were walking on water.





The colorful beauty of the underwater pebbles was amplified by the crystalline ice.





We could see all the way to the bottom, where we could clearly spy Spotted Newts either resting on the sand or wriggling away to hide under patches of submerged leaves.





Sue was the one who spotted this colorful golden rock with the lovely arabesque traceries, situated so beautifully next to the russet oak leaf and accompanied by a gilded water bug.  Were these patterns on the rock part of its mineral structure, or were they formed by snails meandering across its surface? I doubt that we'll ever know.





One of the great treasures sometimes offered up by such crystalline ice is the presence of many layers of silvery bubbles captured perfectly in the ice, which Sue is here trying to capture with her camera.




Don't they look like stacks of silvery coins?  They were surely a treasure to us!






We also found other patches of bubbles so fine they looked like those in a glass of champagne.




In one spot, we found those tiny bubbles had collected in distinctive ribbon-like bands.  We found it hard to imagine how this particular formation occurred.






When we reached the place on the shore where a brook tumbles down the mountain, we left the lake to climb up the banks of this small watercourse, delighting in the many ways that rushing water and freezing temperatures can create icy sculptures of shimmering beauty.














It amazes us that a brook so alive with dancing and splashing water can somehow disappear into the earth before it reaches the lake, but that's exactly what happens to this little watercourse once it reaches more level ground.




As we followed the dry creek bed, however, we surmised that water had filled these banks just a few days ago, leaving behind the evidence in numerous ice formations, some glassy and globular, others as brittle and delicate as blown crystal.








19 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of your best walks and pictures

Elizabeth said...

These ice structures are so amazing, they almost defy belief! Wow. What incredible sights!

Sandy said...

Just beautiful! Thank you for getting out there when many of us won't.

HNelson said...

I really felt like I was there thanks to your excellent photos.

The Furry Gnome said...

That's the best set of ice pictures I've ever seen! The two of frozen ice bubbles are amazing! No snow but freezing temperatures makes for some interesting photo opportunities!

Jens Zorn said...

What a remarkable series of photos! What a discerning eye! These photos, and many many of those you've done earlier, need to be in a permanent, publicly-accessible archive.

June said...

Frozen bubbles!
So many of these beautiful natural things that you picture here, and in other posts . . . remind me of jewelry designs.

Woody Meristem said...

The bubbles frozen in the ice are great, you were fortunate to see such a variety of sizes and patterns. Thanks for sharing those great photos.

Walking Man said...

Wonderful pictures!! Looks like you had an amazing day!

catharus said...

So very neat!

Ron Gamble said...

Awesome photos, especially those bubbles in the ice, never seen anything like it. When I take photos of ice formations, they never do the ice justice.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thank you, dear friends, for all your kind comments regarding these ice photos. It was truly a rare opportunity to find ice like this, with the lake freezing solid on a still night, so that the ice was absolutely smooth and completely transparent while also being thick enough to bear my weight. This is a phenomenon rarely occurring, so my friend Sue and I were beside ourselves with glee when we encountered it. Such a brief opportunity, too. The very next day brought snow and then rain, so the lake is now covered with crunchy, opaque crusty snow instead of crystal.

Rod Rinell said...

The bubbles are probably methane gas bubbling up from what's decomposing at the bottom. And what's decomposing is likely helping burrowing critters keep from freezing. Everything depends on everything else ... stunningly beautiful. Thanks.

Christina said...

I took a walk around the lake on Friday, and have so many of the same photos. It's easy to photograph when nature is so beautiful.

What delighted me the most was the noise the ice made as kids threw rocks onto the lake. So eerie sounding, and it took us some time to figure out what the noise was, but once we did, you bet we threw rocks onto the ice too.

Anonymous said...

I was reminded of Sybil Graber Gerig's illustrations when I saw your beautiful photos. Thank you.

Nick said...

Thank you, so much, for your gift of sharing this walk.

Momo said...

Magical!! Spectacular!!!

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to meet you again yesterday at the Spring St Gallery, Jacqueline. Thank you for speaking to me and reminding me that we met years ago. I'd love to go on a hike with you around Moreau some time. I usually walk with my husband, John who isn't much interested in the flora and is always in a hurry… Susie Kane-Kettlewell. 791 4113.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Stunning, stunning shots! As always. :)