I went out on a cold January morning to see what I could see before the promised snow the following day. It was a perfect day for ice sculptures to form in the spray and splash of rapidly moving water. I found this in the outflow of one of the little ponds along Rt. 9. I am always amazed at the shapes water can get into. Sony RX10iv at 140mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.
Sometimes ice bells (see my previous post) overlap to form extended structures…natural ice sculptures in the abstract mode. They can get quite complex, as you see here in this image from the Mousam River at Roger’s Pond in Kennebunk Maine. They have a beauty all their own.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr on my Android tablet.
For those who were mystified by my reference to “ice bells on willow wands” last week, here is an ice bell on a willow wand. When willows grow close enough to the stream-bed so that they dip their branches or tender shoots in the water, and when it gets cold enough (it was 3 degrees when I took this photo), and when the willow is placed just so, so that the current can keep dipping it under. and when it is just stiff enough to keep popping back up…well, then ice bells form at and just above the surface of the water. We are deep in the polar vortex at the moment. It was 10 below last night…just the weather for ice bells to form on the Mousam River. Unfortunately the water is still high from the rain we had last week, and the willows where I go to photograph ice bells have been cut back away from the water (to accommodate the fly-fishers), so the crop so far this year has been meager. I was blessed to find this one. I will check again today, and I might even look for a more likely spot (though access to the river is limited here.)
Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 400. Cropped and processed in Polarr on my Surface Pro 3.
If you follow my work at all, you will recognize this pond as one of my favorite locations around home…in any and all seasons. Here, at the beginning of winter, with first ice. It was a difficult exposure, with the sky too bright and the landscape in shadow, but worth the effort.
Sony RX10iii in-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed for a somewhat high key effect in Snapseed on my Android tablet.
We had a day of freezing rain late last week. Every elevated surface was coated with a thin shell of ice. Fortunately the ground and roads were warm enough so that ice did not form underfoot and under tire. I went out to the grocery and was caught by a tangle of brush across the road, bordering the drive and parking lot of a bank. There were some birches in the classic “bent down by ice” posture, and lots of ice-bound buds along the branches in the tangle.
In-camera HDR. Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Processed in Lightroom.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
Happy Easter! I am not sure why this is my Easter image this year. I admit it is abstract, and visually challenging (what is it?). But it is also full of life…full of mystery…full of grace and wonder. It is also highly unlikely. It is a super thin patch of floating ice on a pond along Route 9 in Kennebunk Maine. It was above 40 and had been for several hours when I found it, and this pond has been open for weeks, so I was not expecting ice at all. And the sweeping feather like patterns are more like rime ice on a car window than anything I have seen on the surface of water. And then there are the straight lines, the pattern of triangles among the feathers, like the leading in a stained glass window. And it is so thin, so fragile, so unlikely. Altogether strange and wonderful. It challenges my understanding of what is physically possible.
Then you add the colors of the reflected sky and clouds and trees and it really comes alive. It becomes not just an image of floating ice, but a image in its own right, containing a beauty of its own. Looking at it is almost meditative…it puts my mind into a state of open wonder and receptivity…and something very like peace. Something very like hope. Something very like joy. And so, after all, it is not so strange a choice for Easter Sunday!
What is more unlikely than the resurrection? More challenging to our sense of what is possible? More full of grace and wonder? What greater source of hope and joy?
He is risen. Against all odds. Against every expectation. He is risen and with him hope and joy. And though 2000 years of Christian history have not always given testimony to his truth, yet his truth lives on, and is there to be received by every generous eye. Unlikely as rime ice on open water. Unlikely as perfect triangles in floating ice. And more beautiful than the reflected colors of sky and cloud and trees. Jesus is risen! He lives. He lives in me.
So, due to the press of time (I am posting during a layover in DC) this is going to be both the Pic for Today and my Day 6 Nature Photography Challenge on Facebook. 🙂 And keeping to my theme, it is a challenging image. Ice gets into all kinds of strange shapes, given the right weather! This is along the Mousam River at Roger’s Pond in Kennebunk Maine. It is a ground level macro shot, taken with the LCD flipped out.
Sony HX90V. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.
While looking for ice bells along the Mousam, I could not ignore the sheet ice at the edge of the river. I should say that the Mousam at Roger’s Pond is a long stretch of rapids…the last long stretch before the long slow slide to the sea. The river freezes right up to Roger’s Pond, and above the rapids and the dam in Kennebunk for miles. It is a popular spot for fly-fishermen year round. So the ice at the edge of the river is sculpted…or drawn in this case…by the rapidly moving water. I always find the forms that frozen water can take fascinating. The regularity, and the symmetry of the patterns speaks of an inherent order in the water that is certainly not evident when it is tumbling down the rapids of the river. (There is a poem in that sentence if I can let it out!).
Sony HX90V at 200mm equivalent field of view. 1/200th @ ISO 400 @ f6.3. Processed in Lightroom.
I told the story of finding these ice bells along the Mousam River in yesterday’s Year Poem. (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+StephenIngraham/posts/Ec4WMeWA9xQ) . This set formed off and existing shelf of ice attached to a log just the right height above the stream. Though I understand the physics of the ice bell, I am not at all sure I understand the physics of this shelf and ice bell formation. ?? It is certainly beautiful with the sun shining through it!
In camera HDR. Sony HX90V at 514mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 125 @ f6.3. Processed and cropped slightly for composition in Lightroom.
Though I have hundreds of images left, we will take a break from the birds and critters of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge this morning to visit one of my favorite local Maine ponds. The pond is ice-covered, but just…and the ice still has a lot of character: bubbles, ripples, strange patterns where it froze around things, etc. It looks almost as though the ice formed instantaneously…the whole surface freezing in one second…catching whatever was going on…freezing motion. In this case…the stress lines formed by a bit of floating debris.
In-camera HDR. Sony HX90V at 148mm equivalent field of view. Nominal exposure: 1/250th @ ISO 2000 @ f5.6. Processed in Lightroom.