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. Crystal Growth Snow

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: Ice Growth on Stems

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.

Crystal Growth Snow

In some spots it grows flat & feathery.

Crystal Growth Snow

It grows from rocks.

In some places it grows more chunky.

My local extinct volcano study mount late on a winter's afternoon.

Crystal Growth Snow

if the weather cooperates the crystals can get quite long

Wind Sculpted Snow

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.

Wind Sculpted Snow

Another spot where the snow meets an iced-in spot.... it almost has an oceanic feel.

Wind Sculpted Snow

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."

Big Tree. Big Rock

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.

Ice Skin

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.

Mushroom Snow

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

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.

Crystal Growth Snow

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!

Crystal Growth Snow... a closer look

Lets take a closer look at those clumps. Hmmm... Yep... I think I see a thumb starting to form.

Crystal Growth Snow

Here is a spot where it is forming like a field of small petal.

Crystal Growth Snow

Another feathered clump.

Snow Being

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.

        The Day We Met
        Porphero's Watch Chain
        Les Langueurs Tendres
    Gort Braggern
        Prickly Pear
        Solar Wind
    Sonic Landscapes
        Volcanic Sounds of the Yellowstone Caldera
        Low Tide at Soberanes Point,
        Nightbirds on the Noyo River
    Nouveau Guinea Ensemble
        The Tiny Jalopy
        The Bunnies Parade
      Beckwourth Complex Fire
      One Last Snow
      Let's Try a Little Winter
      Bits of VA
      Wiggling the Adirondacks
      Mister Frank
      The Ice Follies
      House Remodel (series)
          The Remodel Begins
          Tear 'em Up
          Putting Things Back
      And Then Aug & Sep

Recent Posts
Jan 21, 2021
A quick little wind ensemble piece to create an oasis of calm in a hectic day.
Volcanic Sounds of the Yellowstone Caldera
Jan 14, 2021
On one of my drive-abouts I found myself in Yellowstone National Park. it's a jolly fun place if you like that sort of thing... You know... Buffalo, trees, geysers & such. It pushes a couple of my buttons for sure. Yellowtone has wo many cool sounds that I simply had to record some of them.
Porphero's Watch Chain
Jan 07, 2021
Porphero's watch Chain is a straight-forward, two-voice investigation into the unrequited feelings a pocket watch might have for it's companion watch chain.
  The Ice Follies
Les Langueurs Tendres
Dec 24, 2020
This is the final of a series of François Couperin pieces. "The Slow Tenderness" is a lovely little tune.
Solar Wind
Dec 17, 2020
In the guise of Gort Braggern I mashed together this cluster of melodies. Mosltly in 5/4 time, it closes out in 9/4...I tried to make it danceable, or at least head-bobbable.
Le Moucheron
Dec 17, 2020
I wonder why François Couperin would name this tune "The Gnat?" (or "The Midge" if you prefer) Could it me that gnats had a significance in 1717 that I am as yet unaware?
La Bersan by Françouis Couperin
Dec 10, 2020
Here we go again... another of Couperin's harpsichord pieces
Yes, Summer is Over
Nov 29, 2020
Well Golly, if one thing is for certain up in these hills it is that , at some point, the weather is going to turn chilly. At least the snow doesn't burn. And every thing looks different with snow around... It gives one the opportunity to take pictures of all of the same things and have them look fresh.
Les Barricades Mystérieuses
Nov 19, 2020
The Mysterious Barricades... What might François Couperin have been referring to when he titled this one?
Les Bergeries
Nov 12, 2020
A piece written by written by François Couperin for the Harpsichord & published in 1717.
Nov 06, 2020
A cute little tine in 12/8... except for the bridge... it jumps around a bit there... almost latin sounding. I named it after a favorite chili pepper. the Chiltepin, also known as a bird's eye pepper.
Low Tide at Soberanes Point, CA
Oct 20, 2020
Once again I found myself at the ocean with nothing better to do than subject my microphones to hostile conditions. I had been driving up and down along the coast south of Monterey looking for the right spot. I was looking for a protected cove-type location. One without a mile-long expanse of sand and giant waves from the deep ocean to come crashing in.
Wandering Around the Hills Nearby
Oct 11, 2020
Been spending a little time wandering about the local hills seeing what they have to offer... on days when the air is clear enough... Which lately has been more often than not, couldn't say that a few weeks ago, and really, there isn't much I can say about the wildfires that hasn't been said better already. I've only been inconvenienced by the smoke & fires... others have had it infinitely worse.
Nightbirds on the Noyo River
Oct 02, 2020
Way in the background, you can hear the distant roar of the surf. This location was about a mile and a half from the open sea and high tide was about an hour earlier.
Oct 01, 2020
Do you ever have projects like that? They are sitting over on a shelf and you're thinking: "Oh, I gotta finish that one day..." Then one day arrives and you go over & look at it and realize it has been finished the whole time. It just needs a little dusting and some paint touchup.
Sep 17, 2020
Sometimes, when writing a song the title arrives first. Coffee Time Rag is an example. Other times you work out a musical idea and a title comes along during the process......
A Bit Above Sea Level
Aug 04, 2020
I decided the ocean air was too thick so I headed up to the Sierras. Walking around a little bit. You might think that camera gear might become lighter the closer you get to outer space, but that ain't so. I am beginning to suspect that the weight of camera gear increases in direct ratio to the number of miles one carries it multiplied by altitude.
  About Us
- - - - -
Keywords in This Article

Unless otherwise credited, all content on is
Copyright © 1999 - 2024 Grant Groberg
All rights reserved.