Notes and observations from a photographer and cultural interpreter living on Canada's east coast.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Cold winter days and nights might make staying indoors tempting, but they create some wonderful sculptures with flowing fresh water that are hard to resist. One of the most accessible spots for seeing these sparkling natural creations is the footbridge next to the Old Woolen Mill Museum in Barrington, Nova Scotia. The mill is a relic of the days when sheep were raised throughout southwestern Nova Scotia; it opened in 1884 and closed in the 1960s, carrying out all the necessary steps in the production of wool from washing and picking through carding, spinning and weaving. A
dam created a headpond for the vertical-shaft turbine that powered the mill, and the resulting diversion of water makes for some interesting currents and flow patterns. When the temperature drops well below freezing, ice forms on the rocks, concrete dam, and riverside grasses. With a little imagination, the shapes can take on a life of their own -- a ferocious beast with sparkling rows of teeth here, a glittering string of suspended beads there, or perhaps a fight to the death between a dragon and a stegosaurus. Hey, it could happen! I love how fleeting these sculptures are -- a few
hours of warm sunshine and they're gone forever, but the potential is always there for a new gallery with every cold snap.
There won't be any more ice sculptures in my future for this week anyway, since there's a stretch of several days of positively balmy weather (well, 5° C anyway) on its way. Could this mean that spring's on its way?