Ice

I won’t pretend that it measures up to what inspired it, but this post was inspired by And More Ice at naturesnippets; Introduction to the Wonders of Nature, a blog that lives its name, by a southern Illinois nature lover (I’ll call her Deecee, taken from a hint in her profile) whose About page humbly describes someone who lives her love and shares it as a living testament to nature’s love for us.

Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Toll House in winter snow storm.  The highway beyond the toll is closed in the winter.
(Click for the BIG view.)

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Deecee’s And More Ice instantly reminded me of this old ice picture (below) from April 2005, shot at a little beaver pond near the Toll House on the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, NY.  Before Balsamea, I lived a few miles downhill from this pond for five years.  Lucky me.

Ice 01 200504 Whtfc Toll Reflection

The picture above came from the edge of the water just back from the bottom edge of the scene below.  The old beaver dam is on the left, using those big rocks as anchors.  I like the cone-shaped rock in the back.  It reminds me of Whiteface Mountain itself.

Ice 02 200504 Whtfc Toll Beaver Dam

I found the above pictures buried with some other ice-related ones, so while I’m on the ice topic …

In that same month of April, 2005, while trying to get a shot of early morning sunlight angling across heavily frost-carpeted treetops on a mountain slope a few miles south of Wilmington on Route 86, I had to step back into the woods off the side of the road and squat down to get the right angle.  It did not work out.  As I stood up, I noticed an even more interesting scene right beside me, on the ground:

Ice 03 200504 Captive Fern Snippet

That picture came from the edge of the frozen puddle that gave me the picture below.  There was some kind of problem with the lighting.  Too much flash or too little.  Something like that.  The ice was not so blue in reality.  But it’s a pretty image.

The cracks are natural.  I didn’t step on it, and I’m glad of that.

Ice 04 200504 Blue Puddle

Some time in the late 1990’s, during a saunter over the ice on one of the Lake Shore Marshes Wildlife Management Area creeks into Lake Ontario in Wayne County, NY, I found this image of a re-frozen hole in the ice that I call “Frozen Universe.”

Ice 05 1999 Frozen Universe

In the village of Saranac Lake, NY (about 35 miles from Balsamea), for their annual Winter Carnival they build an ice castle with big blocks cut from Lake Flower.  This is the one they built in 2007, (click for a nice big view):

Ice 06 200702 Ice Palace 1

I was lucky to be there on such a sunny day (but it was bitterly cold, as I recall), offering this back-lit view of the sea-green color of the ice.  Engraved in the ice above the entrance you can make out the words, “The Fabulous 50’s,” the theme for that year.

Ice 07 200702 Ice Palace 2.

Ice 08 200702 Ice Palace 3

Make that a double-latte?  No, they would not have asked that in the 50’s.  Make it a bottle of Nehi Root Beer.

The tree below and its shadow “grabbed me” but I was unable to express the sensation in a photo.  Still, I kept it because I remember the experience fondly in that week spent with a friend exploring all the parks around the shores Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin in January 2006.  If I recall correctly, I shot this facing north from the southern tip of the lake in the Fond du Lac Lakeside Park.

Ice 09 200601 WI Tree and Shadow

Back here on my local Saranac River, just before it flows into Franklin Falls Pond (a river impoundment created by the Franklin Falls Dam), during my April 2005 quest for interesting spring pictures, a mallard duck surprised me when I found it in the picture AFTER I GOT HOME!  I was only aiming at the intriguing way that the receding water level had left an ice shelf clinging to the steep bank.  Apparently the duck liked it, too.

Ice 10 200504 Ice Shelf Duck

These pictures are not from Balsamea, or about Balsamea in the usual sense.  They are tastes of “finding Balsamea” everywhere I go.  Balsamea is portable.

Ice 12 20091225 Frozen Fog CrystalsAh … an afterthought:  Here is a picture from Christmas Day 2009 at Balsamea, during my second winter living in the camper.  It is the dried head of some kind of grass with a collection of ice crystals deposited by a barely moving frozen fog.  I had never seen anything like it before.  Of several attempted pictures, this one came out the best.

Many thanks to Deecee for bringing me to my senses on the matter of making use of these old pictures and the experiences that go with them, fun to revisit, to re-experience, and especially to share with you.

Any questions?

Related articles:

  • Letting Go (myeverydayphotos.wordpress.com) – the work of a great eye for the magical display of spring nudging its way past winter at the very edge of the edge of a lake.  These are not merely “everyday photos” (as indicated in the blog’s title).  They are the eye of someone deeply attentive to nature every day.
  • Ice Castles … the natural kind. (experiencenorthcape.wordpress.com)
  • Weird weather yields unique ice formations – these are fantastic ice developments in the wake of recent New England winter storms (compostingwords.net)
  • Saranac Lake Winter Carnival with a New Event in 2013 – a nice article about the annual carnival.  If you want to attend next year, this article gives you a great look at the kind of calendar of events  you can expect.  This year had a new event: snow ball toss tournament.  This is a terrific blog dedicated to New York State Festivals.  It has them ALL, from A to Z, by genre, by county, by calendar, by gum it’s a festive blog of festivals!  What a generous free resource.

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3 thoughts on “Ice

  1. I enjoyed your ice wonders very much. I am very honored to say that “Deecee” is a dear, dear friend of mine. If you think she is a great blogger, writer, naturalist, and photographer, you ought to be with her out in nature! She is amazing!

    • What do you mean, “ought to?” We’re ALREADY out there together! (What’s a mere 1,000 miles between nature lovers? Or even 1,000 years?)

      So! You must be Deer Sister!

      It looks like you and Deecee are lucky to have each other. In a place like a forest where there is no solitude, always myriad companions, few humans can improve on the experience. So when you find one, it is magical.

      “Each phase of nature, while not invisible, is yet not too distinct and obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not demanding our attention. It is like a silent but sympathizing companion in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude.” -Henry David Thoreau, Journal, November 8, 1858

      That kind of magical. Or, as you aptly put it, “amazing.”

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Ice Storm Tree Arcs at Balsamea | The Balsamean

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