I can get lost in a picture like this. In my mind’s eye, I am high above the earth, gazing down at the terrible power of churning ocean waves dark with storm when, in reality, I’m out for an afternoon stroll on the frozen creek.
As Anatole France put it, “Imagination is everything.”
We live near an erratic creek. It rises and falls and freezes and thaws at the slightest provocation. Yesterday’s mild air had softened the icy surface causing it to emit an aqua glow. Along the surface, where puddles had formed midday, intricate geometric patterns emerged from the refreeze and drew my eye to objects engulfed in the transformation.
On close inspection, things in nature bear some family resemblance. Like long-lost relatives, the subjects appear both familiar and strange. Their forms lend a chill where one expects all the downy warmth of a feather.
What luck! The sole spot of color on the frozen expanse of Lake Nokomis: a bright blue ice-fishing house.
10/365: blue clam on nokomis
One to get lost in. The frost blankets the leaves with an animal softness that belies the harshness of the cold. It has all the intricate crystalline beauty of the ice formations playing off the organic curves and lingering color of the ivy.
Winter is worn out. I walked to the creek yesterday and saw signs everywhere of the season’s last gasp. The sledding hill was empty, its snowpack well-trodden and soggy from the morning rain, cracked sleds abandoned near the bottom. The frozen creek was like a junkyard full of jagged ice chunks and broken branches, naked ice unprotected by its usual blanket of snow now pockmarked and scarred.
We romanticize signs of spring – grass turning green, birds singing, the smell of a warming breeze – but this scene was more like the field after a battle. It looked as if winter finally gave up the ghost but, then, I didn’t actually see it wave the white flag.
Walking along the sidewalk, I noticed some pieces of litter that had become fused into the snowbanks and, then, this arresting blue face gazing up at me from beneath the ice. Funny, that’s not how I pictured Euphoria…
I was a big Narnia fan as a kid. Remember how the White Witch turned Narnia to winter instantly? I have a mental picture of the river currents frozen mid-swirl by her spell. That’s what I’m reminded of looking at this picture. It’s an optical illusion how the water appears to be flowing from the drain spout and rippling in the pool below when, in fact, it’s frozen solid.