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.