Patterned Ice

A side effect of having the temperatures vary between 10 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit within days is that one can admire interesting ice formations while hiking in pleasantly warm weather.

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What we see here are thin layers of ice over shallow running water, in some of the little creeks that flow through Yellowwood State Forest.

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Rocks make for quicker thawing, and the hickory leaves from last fall adapt by becoming translucent.

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Near hexagonal patterns like this one occur often in nature when homogeneous material breaks under uniform pressure. It’s the first time I have seen this with ice, and I would love to see how it forms in a time lapse movie.

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Another one, at a different location.

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The Little People

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Spooky Yellowwood State Forest is home to the Bald Cypress, which produces roots that curiously protrude form the ground. These are called cypress knees, and it is rumored that they provide stability and oxygen in the swampy ground.

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The truth is an entirely different story. When it gets dark and nobody watches, they begin to stretch and move.

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Some stay be themselves, others meet in small groups.

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They attempt to recapture familiar themes. Is this above the Holy Family? And that below Mary with Child?

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Or do they just mock us? We will never know, as with brightening light, they return to their places and and pretend to be nothing but roots.