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Nature’s ice sculptures

When water seeps out of rock outcrops, huge formations of saber-shaped icicles are formed. Even small seeps that are almost invisible in warm weather show themselves during the winter freeze.


February 5, 2014

The ongoing cold snap of the last month or so has been great for skiers and ice fishermen, but not so great for homeowners fighting high heating bills, or people who have had to travel in the many “nuisance storms” during the course of the winter. Municipalities along the river have been keeping a close eye out for ice jams and the resulting flooding that can occur during very cold weather. Not all the frozen water has been bad, though.

When water freezes, the molecules bond with each other in a crystal lattice that both solidifies the water and causes it to expand in volume by about 9% (enough to damage unprotected water pipes). The crystalline structure of ice is evident when observing snowflakes or heavy frost. Water is dynamic by its nature as it flows, drips, or condenses on an object, and when it freezes, the resulting ice formation variations can seem almost limitless.

Here are just a few examples of ice formations that are visible in the region this winter. Dress warmly and enjoy.