Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Streams Become a Gallery of Ice

Last week the weather provided us with a roller-coaster ride of temperatures and conditions. From 50 degrees F. to below zero and then back up to near 50 by the end of the week. The effect on the nature preserve's streams were to first swell them with snow melt and rain and then to freeze them nearly solid - only to once again melt them completely. During the deep freeze, the streams, which were already running high, swelled even further out of their banks as they transformed into ice. Though the ice was bulging, the levels of the running water dropped substantially and thus created caverns and other very interesting ice structures. Frozen waterfalls are always a favorite.

Some places along the stream banks also resembled frozen waterfalls 
This waterfall beneath an old beaver dam was still flowing in a big way

In some places the stream was running over a foot below the surface ice layer

Constellations of star-like ice crystals formed on the surface of the frozen stream

Unusual looking ice structures connected the stream to stream-side vegetation

In some places the stream appeared to be frozen solid

In some streams cloud-like formations of crystals formed between layers of ice

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