I never get tired of looking – really looking – at images of ice. There is so much to see in a photo that I didn’t see in person just because it takes time to look carefully. The ice is a landscape, seemingly many square kilometers of space in three dimensions. It’s a galaxy of stars, a world of fossils, a territory of terrain… It’s perfectly real yet it nudges the imagination in countless directions. What do you see? Do you feel the lure of the macro world?
Once gurgling water comes to a standstill as swirling bubbles in the ice. Twining grass is ensnared until the spring will set it free along with the trapped air. Some of these “bubbles” are actually open to the air flow through holes in the ice. As with trace fossils, the substance that preserved the space is now gone, leaving only an imprint of what once was there.
The bubbles come in layers, indicating that freezing was slow enough to go through many stages. Perhaps the sun filtered into the ditch for a while, then shifted behind a tree, then made it through to the ice again. The change in temperature was enough to halt the freezing process for some time before it began again. My idea is that the ice forms like a skin on soup, thickening and tightening and forming ridges and rifts as it freezes. Eventually, tears or holes must appear once the ice has almost completely changed from liquid to solid.