The Ice Garden

It was a quirk of light. Without it I would have missed the tiny ice garden on my window.

Among the little plants I spotted fern trees, maple leaves, thistle heads, shrubs and grass, perhaps an elm or maybe a beech. The biggest is less than a centimetre, not even half an inch.

The garden is growing on the outer pane of a double-paned window, facing north onto snow-draped spruce trees. Not sure when it took root — last night it was about -30C (-20F) so perhaps that was enough to sprout this grace and beauty.

Bumping up the blue levels on the photo created this fairyland effect.

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First Ice

The dugout at the corner of our woods is a favourite watering hole for many animals. After a very warm summer with little rain it was almost dry this fall.

Dugout

Then the temperature dropped and the puddles froze.

Ice

I set off to get some shots of the season’s first ice. I was disappointed as most of the puddles had been broken by animals looking for water.

So I rejigged my thinking: If I couldn’t find perfect ice, what could I find?

That’s when I spotted the surprise. An elk had stepped on this puddle, shattering the ice. When it refroze the centre portion marked the track of her foot — leaving in its wake a winter sunflower. 🙂

Ice

Owed to Winter

Rosy cheeks
Runny nose
Chilly fingers
Frost-nipped toes.

Yup. Winter has launched a shot across autumn’s bow. The faint drizzle yesterday turned into several centimetres of the white stuff by morning.

But the temps will rise later this week and the panic to install snow tires, replace the weather stripping and buy new gloves will wane. After all, winter is months way.

Right?


Wild rose hip   Rosa acicularis

 

Calling Card

Jack Frost and I were both out early this morning. I found his mark on low-growing shrubs and grasses, on withered clover and damp stones.

After too many days of heavy rain this week’s forecast promises sun and warmth. Ah, but nighttime, that’s a different story. Old Man Frost is lurking around the edges, biding his time. Winter’s harbinger.


September 13, 2016