January ice

ice on puddle

It’s been more cold than not for a month or so now, and that means ice on puddles. And I love taking pictures of ice. So here’s a start, from recent excursions.

ice on puddle

The ice is pretty thick; this chunk, tossed up previously from a puddle, is a couple of inches thick. (And today I caught Our Dog walking across the ice on the slough—argh.)

ice in water-filled bucket

You find interesting things in the woods sometimes; this bucket was left by someone working on an unofficial trail. As far as I could see the ice in it was solid all the way down.

ice on puddle

And it’s so varied, especially when we start getting a bit of hoarfrost.

ice on puddle

ice on puddle

ice on puddle



trees reflecting in water between ice and rock…on the pond. It hasn’t quite frozen solid, so the open spots and edges have some interesting photographic potential.

rock showing under ice

Time for a walk

frost on windshield

Well, it’s a cold day, that’s for sure.

ice pellets on branches

Ice pellets everywhere! Evidently they didn’t turn into freezing rain last night—and a sheet of ice—as they did where we live.

ice pellets and frozen drops on branch

Quite lovely on the branches: pellets and frozen drops.

ice pellets on dead leaf

ice pellets on snow

Quite lovely everywhere, actually.


Nice crunchy trails in places.

ice on puddle

And the first puddle ice I’ve seen!

Really, one couldn’t ask for a prettier day for a walk.

trail with dog


hoarfrost on cedar branch

We live in a dampish area, and if it gets cold there’s a section of our yard that tends to grow hoarfrost. Which it did over the past few days, very satisfactorily. These were taken yesterday—today it’s gone, alas.

hoarfrost hoarfrost on salal hoarfrost on salal hoarfrost on salal hoarfrost on log hoarfrost on log hoarfrost on log hoarfrost on pine needles hoarfrost on cedar branch hoarfrost on cedar branch hoarfrost

Happy New Year!

To celebrate, pictures of frost flowers from the last hike of 2015: proof that beauty can expand from the most ordinary beginnings.

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

Frost flowers

frost flowers 1

They’ve been pretty spectacular lately. (Though not today; today it’s cold, it’s pouring with rain, and to be honest I’m avoiding excursions.)

frost flowers 2

frost flowers 3

frost flowers 4

Interesting mud. Really.

hole in dirt with sunken pebble

When it’s this cold for this long, you start seeing holes in the dirt, with things lurking in their depths.

What’s in the holes? Pebbles.

This is what the soil is like underneath:

muddy dirt with frost crystals in it

These crystals are called needle ice, and have lifted a layer of dirt right up. The overall structure is quite fragile and the swollen frozen ground will collapse when you step on it.

Either the pebbles warmed up in the sun faster than the surrounding frozen soil, and sank into it, or they were too heavy for the needle ice to lift. I’m not sure which explanation applies (maybe it’s both of them).

The depth of the frost heaves created by needle ice can be quite significant: here’s a chunk with three sections built on top of each other.

ice needles

This makes cold-weather trail cycling quite interesting, I must say.

But someone likes all this frosty stuff!

dog rolling on frosty moss
Nothing like a roll on frosty moss to get the blood flowing!

Hard light

strong light/shade contrasts in ice patterns

I know spring is here—I’ve been taking pictures of the early flowers—but I’m not quite ready to give up on pictures of ice.

ice patterns
Like burnished metal
ice with dark streambed showing through
Almost like it’s flowing—but not quite
incredibly complex patterns on ice
I mean, how can you give up on something like this?

Ice lumps

ice lumps

I forgot to turn off the pond pump when it got really cold this winter. I did remember before any harm was done, but in the meantime—ice lumps where the pump spits water into the little “waterfall.” The pond water is very tannic, so some of the lumps have some interesting colour highlights.  Continue reading “Ice lumps”

Snow in the forecast

slough, ice, just a hint of sun on treetops
Yow! Chilly!

Snow is in the forecast for tonight, and then freezing rain, well, actually the forecasters are being a little vague. There’s precipitation coming into a cold front that’s been sitting over us, and then almost immediately it’s going to warm up, and who knows what will happen? seems to be the refrain.

I don’t have to drive anywhere tomorrow, so if it snows I’ll happily take pictures. But meanwhile, snow from a few days ago. These pictures of the slough on our property were taken early, before the sun had cleared the trees.

ice on slough, snowy reflections, golden reflection of treetops
A little more of that warm golden glow…
sky and cloud reflections in slough, snow on bushes
I love the colours of snow and cold sky.


Hurrah for ice

ice patterns on pond

Unlike much of North America—especially this year when the Polar Vortex descended over the continent—our winters are relatively warm. The result is that I haven’t had many opportunities to take wintery pictures. But recently we had a wee dump of snow, and since then it’s stayed below freezing and often sunny. So I’ve had a few chances (when not slaving over a hot computer) to take some pictures. This is the first of a series I hope to put up. 

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