Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crystalized, Ice Part IV

Long term readers might know I have a thing for ice. Not ice cubes which I hate in my drinks, or frozen lakes or hockey rinks but living ice. Ice is most interesting to me when not found in thick sheets but in open spaces where it can show its crystal form.

For the geeks out there ice belongs to the Hexagonal crystal system, it shares this classification with quartz. This means if given space and materials the crystal will grow up to be six sided and generally longer then wide. Every one has seen quartz for sale at new age fairs, novelty shops and science shops, but most people never see Ice in its full glory. Today I was introduced into some of the best ice crystals I have ever seen.

Mario, one of the general labourers at camp,a friendly tall young frenchman brought to my attention some truly beautiful ice crystals. He had brought it up during coffee brake and was regretting not having his own camera with him. So out of both my own interest and his desire for photos I went to take a look and was much impressed.

The ice was growing just underneath the rock over hang to the entrance to the mine. Here they were out of the wind. And like the crystalized trees last year, the cold temperatures cause water to condense on any solid surface, and given calm conditions it will condense onto it self.

So Here is our upside down Ice forest. A single cluster of ice crystals brings to mind one or two Star Trek episodes, but I do not feel like digging through the Lore to figure out which ones.

Enjoy, I will be back with news on the winter road soon.

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