Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ice on Creek

The temperatures rose for a day, but a couple of cold nights has put some ice back on the creek. Sometimes winter ice can have quite an impact on the creek corridor. Chunks of ice being carried by flood water can behave like the teeth of a chain saw blade and tear up everything they encounter.

Ice attached to trees and shrubs adds extra weight and gives the water something extra to push against. The ice chunks act like sea anchors being forced downstream. Sometimes little trees are pulled right out of the creek bank.

Moving water has the ability to create some magnificent ice sculptures. These two ornaments were created by water following the edge of the rock and then flowing down dead leaves. The leaf on the right looks like the Gingerbread Man. Apparently he managed to avoid being eaten by the fox, but couldn’t get clear of the creek.

This looks like an ice shelf fungi growing from the rock. That bit of ice really makes the water look cold.

This ice was formed by water following an underground layer of limestone bedrock and emerging here at the creek. This process of lateral movement is the source of most water for springs and streams. This isn’t readily observable in streams because the water usually enters the channel at an elevation below the stream’s surface.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely look at the ice formations in your creek. That one that looks like fungi is especially interesting. Our "waterfall" has started to ice up already, as well as various local creeks. I hope to get out and take photos of such sights myself this weekend!