A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

“Ice is back with a brand new invention…”

If you’ve got a problem yo I’ll solve it check out the hook while the DJ revolves it…

I am of course talking about ice, ice baby.  (That’s right I went there….)

Winter is an amazing time of year.  The world seems to be on hold.  Everything is in a state of waiting, frozen in suspended animation waiting for longer and warmer days.  Ice and snow are the masters of winter, shaping the world to their liking.  Together they shape the world with daggers of ice and blowing snow, as if to remind the world that summer is only half the year.  These daggers that help shape the wintery world around are best personified as icicles, quite literally daggers in their own right.

Ice is an amazing structure.  It is the solid form of water but it is just as versatile in the solid as the liquid form.  Most of the worlds fresh water is sequestered away as ice in glaciers and the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica.  Here in Minnesota we only see the ice about 6 months out of the year!

Icicles form in the same way stalactites form in caves.  Liquid water works its way down and freezes along the way.  The icicle is lengthened by the water continuing down an existing icicle.  With each drop the icicle adds to its icy pillar.

The manner in which icicles form creates many different layers of ice.  Each descending drop leaves another layer of ice on the surface.  This layering creates tremendous depth within a very small about of ice.  I can only compare it to the line found within a Lake Superior Agate, which ironically is formed in a very similar manner to icicles.  Compare the following four pictures as a I change the focal plane of the camera to reveal the different layers of the ice.  When flipped to the landscape format I think this picture looks like a mountain at sunset.

Ice is a beautiful gift to have for half of the year.  Winter may not be the most popular season for some but if you take a moment and look around you will find intricate and delicate structures that rival the most fragrant flowers of summer.  Nature is always ready to supply amazement for those willing to look.

If you like ice then you would like Antarctica.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are currently in Antarctica.  She is and MD at McMurdo Station and he is a glaciologist who REALLY likes ice.  You can check out their blog at www.antarcticfudgsicles.wordpress.com.

The previous two photos illustrate the dynamic nature of ice and how seamlessly it blends the liquid and solid state together.

Well, if you had a problem I hope I solved it.

 

 

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One response

  1. KATHY ANE

    JIMMY, YOUR ICICLE PHOTOS ARE TRUELY AMAZING! SO BEAUTIFUL–CHOKED ME UP…..YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL TEACHER…WHAT A TALENTED NATURALIST, ARE YOU.
    MOM

    December 18, 2010 at 10:09

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