The creek that runs through our property currently has an abnormally high flow due to the abundant Fall rains that wet the mountains. So when the cold came early this Winter the ice formations did too. We’ve had night time temperatures around 6 degrees Fahrenheit, and day time highs substantially below freezing.  With traction devices on the feet walking around on the ice can give one some spectacular images of this unique beauty. Just make sure you stay on the thicker buildup or you may end up suddenly quite chilled.

Some of you live in warm climates and Southern Hemispheres and probably don’t get much opportunity to view such cool beauty, so this post is dedicated to you. Here’s your opportunity to experience a bit of cold without the  need for a jacket and mittens!

As the water hardens on the surface, the subsurface flow rises and overflows onto the existing ice and forms ever more ice on the surface. As the cold continues the ice build up increases. In this way the creek can expand multiples of it’s original size. Given enough time and cold weather it will spread slowly out of it’s main channel and reach out into the forest.

Last winter in the middle of January we had a warm spell and some serious rain fall. This came after a substantial cold period in which the ice had accumulated quite a bit of depth and volume. All that relatively warm rain falling on the snow in the mountains  created a massive pulse of water raging down the gorge, pushing a wall of broken ice ahead of it. The rumble and roar could be heard from a long ways off. We ran out of the house and down to the creek to find an 8 foot high wall of ice on each side of the creek. Nature in all it’s glory can be quite impressive!


All these pictures were taken today by the author with his little pocket camera, which is a Sony cyber shot.



      1. Jake McCormick

        The perception of scale, of what you’re watching, is 100x when they show you at the end. Crazy!