Ice “Cathedrals”

By , December 27, 2016

When we hike north, past the adjoining property, with its tiny cabin owned by a couple who live in Juneau, to our nearest permanent neighbor, a quarter mile away, we skirt sea cliffs that rise 30-50 feet above the beach (at a guess?). The path through the thin edge of forest before the beach weaves along under the cliffs and outcroppings.

In winter, the seeps and drips of ground water that flow off these cliffs freeze in to fantastical forms, ice “cathedrals”.

Yesterday, “On the Feast of Stephen,” we went out like Good King Wenceslas to see them in the short hours of daylight. Aly took pictures!

(Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

(Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

 

Some of the icicles are clear, others colored by tannins in the groundwater. (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

Some of the icicles are clear, others are colored by tannins in the groundwater. (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

 

(Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

(Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

 

(Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

This one makes me think of a pipe organ. (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger.)

In past years, if the water supply froze up, we “harvested” ice from these cliffs to melt and use. Thankfully, we haven’t had to do that for many years!

We have ice “cathedrals” like this on our own property, but our cliffs, being shorter, don’t provide such spectacular formations.

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