Posted: Jan 02, 2021
The Ice Follies
There is an old proverb: "A fooish person and their camera soon becomes tedious." This is a risk faced by everyone who walks about with a camera hanging around their necks like an albatross. Indeed, persons in possesion of selfie sticks or who whip out their cell phones to document every aspect of their life are also at risk. But crossing the street is also a risk and not everyone who crosses the street is hit by a bus. After all, it is not how many pictures one takes that leads to photographic folly but how many one imposes upon others.
Ah, but I am a fool... So many times I have tried to reform. To subdue my penchant for pixels and limit the relentlessly redundant renderings my camera tempts me to take. But my eyes, they see... and my shutter finger is trigger happy... and the click, click, clickity beat of the camera firing off is a rhythm I cannot resist. I dance over the hills and through the forests pointing my lens at everything I see... clickity-click. Hello rock. Hello tree. Hello shrub. Clickity-click. I see you.... Clickity-click and another record of an array of photons is stored on my memory chip... preserved forever... or at least until the power goes out.
Not that it matters.
It's supposed to be cold here, but it isn't really. At least so far, this winter. Every night it freezes, sometimes deeply. Then during the day the thermometer creeps up... Just enough over freezing. Sometimes more, then during arctic night, the softened snow pushes out more ice crystals. . I mentioned it a bit last month, but that had only been over a few days. The cycle continues and reminds me of the verse:
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
The crystals grow crystals upon 'em. As long as the days don't get too warm and there isn't rain sleet or more snow—and the conditions on that specific spot are just so—the crystals keep growing. In one spot I have found them two-inches long.
They grow like fur and are soft beyond all imagining. Truly the softness is an illusion for as soon as you touch them they are gone. The touch lasts only the briefest instant, for they fragment into the tiniest bits with any motion. If you try to scoop them it is like cupping an ephemeral, frozen mist. * * * * * * * *
Close your hand and they are gone.
Breath on them and they are gone.
Wait 30 seconds and they are gone.
Smaller, younger crystallization. More square shapes.
If you are willing to trudge a bit you can get a glimpse of Long Lake.
In some spots it grows flat & feathery.
It grows from rocks.
In some places it grows more chunky.
My local extinct volcano study mount late on a winter's afternoon.
if the weather cooperates the crystals can get quite long
One day I walked through a long open area. Over the night the wind had sculpted these patterns in the down-wind end of the field. When I was walking past a few hours later this was all gone.
Another spot where the snow meets an iced-in spot.... it almost has an oceanic feel.
It must have been some wind... even the character of the ice changed
OK, last one... but I was transfixed. Carved like this my brain doesn't want to associate it with "snow."
It may not look like it, but that's a a pretty-darn-big Ponderosa Pine tree there. And the house-size rock with the end broken off? It's pretty big too. And it's not at the bottom of a steep cliff either.. so it either rolled a pretty long way or it was left there by a glacier. Nifty stuff, huh?
A stream meanders through a snowy meadow & ends in a puddle.
A freezing stream created this interesting fomation of ice at its edge.
A skin of ice formed over the stream where it tumbles between these boulders. That's just a shell, the stream is flowing playfully a inch or so below the ice.
Mount Lassen protruding above the low-laying clouds at its base.
The morning after a fluffy snow. Pillowing on all of the rocks in this stream, it reminds me of a field of mushrooms.
My local extinct volcano study mount ...early one morning.
My local extinct volcano study mount from far away and a different direction.... Farther to the west.
Eureka Peak and the range that runs northwest along the Feather River
Plush Shrubs ... oh so plush.
Eureka Peak... Again, and on a different day. The dark, underlying cloud layer right above the mountain is about 8,000 feet (~243m)... It was a breezy day where I was standing too. But right above the smeared clouds it seems like the air slows and the clouds have time to grow and get puffy.
Once more, my local extinct volcano study mount on a day with broken clouds.
Goodness gracious! The snow is crystalizing into clumps! Maybe it is beginning to form limbs!... Creature From The Snowy Banks! The entire town runs in panic until a nine-year-old child who likes to play with matches discovers its undoing!
Lets take a closer look at those clumps. Hmmm... Yep... I think I see a thumb starting to form.
Here is a spot where it is forming like a field of small petal.
Another feathered clump.
Goodness! The snow IS coming to life! It is becoming sentient and is even decorating itself! Like the hair Margee.
Look no ice! and the winter freezes have turned the pasture's summer green to gold.