We took advantage of this month’s thaw/refreeze cycles to practice ice photography. One sure thing about a month of freeze/thaw is that the river ice is ever-changing. So I had plenty of photos to choose from for this month’s photo blogging challenge: photographer’s choice.

1. Creeksicles

Three Sisters Creek originates deep underground, through a karst system. So it flows year-round. Even after an extended stretch of deep cold (-25C/-13F), you can hear water running a top cover of ice. I photographed these lovely creeksicles during a slightly warmer stretch, when most of the creek was open, flowing water.

ice draped over stick in creek

2. Overhanging Ice

The Bow River was pretty much frozen over a couple of times this month. This particular day, the river itself was basically ice free. But I clambered down off one of the thick sheets of shoreline ice to the rocky river’s edge and got way down low so that the foreground ice overhangs the distant mountain peaks: Ha Ling and Mount Rundle. I like now the angle of the ice is basically the same as the ascent angle up the back of Ha Ling – which is where the hiking trail goes.

overhanging ice sheet frames mountains

3. Coloured Ice

I haven’t done much frozen soap bubble photography this winter. As the most recent really cold stretch looked to be coming to an end, I gave it another try. To change things up a bit, I froze layers of coloured water to try to make a rainbow base. I need to try adding salt to the coloured water, and maybe a different agent than food colouring, because the rainbow didn’t work. But I think a coloured-ice base adds something new and different to the world of frozen soap bubble photography.

frozen soap bubble on colored ice base

BTW, we get naturally turquoise-coloured ice along the Bow River, thanks to light refraction caused by fine silt particles in the glacial meltwater source. The featured image for this post is a good example of turquoise river ice.

4. Got Spikes?

We wear NANOspikes for safety on icy terrain. But this little American Dipper doesn’t need anything more than those long, curved talons to grip shoreline ice. We spotted this one at Many Springs in Bow Valley Provincial Park. One cool fact about the American Dipper – it’s the only truly aquatic North American songbird. We spot them along the Bow River and mountain creeks. They bob along, from rock to rock, and then pop into the water, ducking under to forage for food. Since they don’t have webbed feet like ducks and such, they use their wings to steer while underwater.

bird on shoreline ice

5. Disorganized

Sometimes, conditions are just right to form a jumble of ice thin layers and crystals, some showing evidence of transpiration along the upwind edges, and with a big crack down through the disorganized layers. All of the messiness signals weak ice, so I stayed well back and used the full extent of the zoom on my telephoto lens to get this more abstract image. Here’s a link to the Relive video recap Mr. GeoK made for our “breakthrough” adventure.

ice crystals

That was tough! I want to include another three or four photos from this month, but five’s the official limit, so I’m done!

Now I’m excited to see what everyone one else came up with for photographer’s choice. Please join me in heading over to A ‘lil HooHaa to view and comment. And while you’re at it, please consider playing along for March. The theme is Nine, to mark the ninth year of the Photo Blogging Challenge. All you need is five photographs. The amount of descriptive text/commentary is up to you.

6 thoughts on “Ice

  1. Love your set of photos for the month. I love ice photography. And I’ve wanted for a while to do soap bubbles and just haven’t done it yet. I need to get that back on my list.

  2. Ice makes for amazing photographs! The details of ice is so intricate and interesting. Of course, you had some awesome captures. The frozen rainbow of colored ice would be fun to do. As much as ice and snow are lovely to photograph, I’m done with the cold! 💜

  3. Mandy

    Creeksickles….. now there is an appropriate new word! Creeksicles are beautiful and always catch my eye. Love your river’s edge low angle shot. I was down at the point at West Canmore point yesterday and there are some fantastic ice floes there that would look great in sunrise shots. But a vivid sunrise did not occur that day. maybe tomorrow. I used a different blog format for my February entry and just realized that people cannot post comments on it. Sigh…. I will get this all sorted out one month. At least I didn’t post it multiple times this month.

    1. I “appreciated” your Adobe sharing thing, because I couldn’t find a place to comment. And I echo Lisa’s comment. Those are stunning sunrise photos and I’m sure you had many more to choose from. Looking forward to seeing your photos for “9” next month.

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