Tag Archives: melt

“Spring Thaw Ice Art” – Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“Spring Thaw Ice Art” - Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

One of the many benefits I find when hiking is the abundance of free art nature provides me. As I walked a forest path a few days ago, the ground was just starting to melt, but it was cold enough that small, water-filled, depressions were still partially frozen.

Since the surrounding earth was not frozen, the water from these depressions slowly drained away, leaving these wonderful abstract patterns for me to enjoy.

When I was I child, I loved to break these thin sheets of ice. Admit it, many of you did the same thing, for no real reason other than to watch the delicate structures break. At that time, I suppose I never had a real appreciation of just how beautiful they could be. Many are a brief history of the receding water levels and movements inside the puddle. It would be a curious exercise to do a time-lapse of this activity one day.

For now, I will enjoy these abstract patterns as they dazzle in the muted spring sun. Each one a bit different, influenced by so many conditions as they formed and melted.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hydrangea on Ice”

“Hydrangeas on Ice”

“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”
― Kahlil Gibran

This year, I left a few dried hydrangea blooms in my garden. My usual ritual is to trim them all down in the fall. I’m glad I left them, they added some interest in this past, dull, nearly snowless winter, and created a nice franewirk for our recent freezing rain event.

For those who have never experienced freezing rain, I’ll include a brief description here:
Freezing rain occurs when the ground temperature is below freezing while the air layers above are warmer. The precipitation falls as rain and freezes on contact with the ground. The end effect is that everything is coated with an ever increasing layer of clear ice. If conditions are right, this accumulation can be over an inch thick and cause major damage to trees and powerlines. Because it is a gradual accumulation, delicate plants, which would collapse in snow, are held rigid by the ice that encases them.

This was the case with the hydrangeas pictured above. A thin coating of clear ice built up over a period of a few hours, making them look like the are coated in clear glass.

It’s a beautiful effect, unless you are driving and have to chisel the ice from your car, or try to walk, since the ice is usually covered in a thin layer of semi-frozen water, making it extremely slippery. This is not a good feature when you are trying to walk around with your camera. The other thing with freezing rain is that it tends to be a very brief, beautiful event, which generally melts away within a few hours, as the temperatures rise.

I find it to be a challenging time photographically, since everything is beautiful and it’s difficult to isolate a particular composition within all that beauty.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 -0.33, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Forest Floor Melt”

“Forest Floor Melt”

“Life is only a flicker of melted ice.” ― Dejan Stojanovic

Along the trails lie small depressions, filled with water, and lined in ice. The ground beneath still frozen as the sun gently warms the ground, freeing the scene from winter’s hold.

This scene, though it repeats every year, was particularly interesting, since it was such a mild winter and the only significant snowfall happened only a week ago. The result was very clean ice and snow, without significant dust and dirt contamination, making the ice quite white, rather than the usual gray. The trails, despite this late snowfall, were surprisingly icy, making my hike a bit treacherous, as I’m carrying my camera gear with me and really don’t want to fall.

The forecast, here in southern Ontario is for a warmer than usual spring, and I for one, am looking forward to that and continuing to get out there and document my experinces.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 190 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Frozen Fingers”

“Frozen Fingers”

“We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.”
― Alan Moore

Winter wears on, some days are bright and clear and others dark and dreary. Yet, through it all, nature lives on and builds crystal sculptures on frames of wood, grass, and stone. At the right time of day, the sun shines through, lighting them from within.

The image above is a lilac tree next to my house. With the rapid melt, the eavestroughs overflowed, splashing water on the cold lilacs in the shade. That slight difference in temperature was enough to re-freeze the water, encasing the slender branches and seed heads with a thick coat of ice. Water running over this base formed ripples which froze as subsequent layers. The effects of a slight breeze are also visible in the slightly bent ‘fingers’ of ice.

As a side note, though it was warm enough to melt the ice, the temperatures were cool enough to give me frozen fingers of my own.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Splash”

Splash

“…I hear the sounds of melting snow outside my window every night and with the first faint scent of spring, I remember life exists…” ― John Geddes

It’s mid-February and our first significant snow has fallen and begun to melt within a few short days. Beneath the thinning blanket of ice and snow, water writhes, flows, and drips, only to be frozen briefly by the chill of night and released once more by the morning sun.

It’s interesting to awaken to a world white with ice and blowing snow one morning, followed by a steady drip, drip, drip the next. Thanks to the effects of El Niño, this has been, at best, a year of unpredictable weather. In the past few days the temperatures have fluctuated  by close to 40 degrees, from a bone chilling -30 ° C to 6 ° C for our weekend forecast. It snows, I shovel, it melts, …repeat. Fortunately, snowfall has been limited to only  a few centimeters on any given day.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to a warm dry spring.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 210mm
1/8 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com