Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sea Ice Breaks On the Shore


It begins, slowly, the ice-up.

Freshwater freezes first, and near the shore, skims and plaques of ice form on the surface. They float in on the high tide and, then, as the water sucks back out, the ice is left behind to crack over rocks and barrels and tree limbs and other detritus.

At first the ice is very thin, and because it contains some salt, brittle, like shattered glass. Then it thickens, breaks, forms again, breaks, thickens, until huge boulders and pans of ice lie scattered across the beaches, an impassible wreckage, the sea a solid frozen mass without colour or visible movement.

Then the seals come deep into the bays to pup; we see them out on the ice, moving first one flipper, then another.

But we're not at that point yet. The icing up is just beginning here....Breaking, reforming, thicker than before.

Click on each small photograph to see a larger image in Flickr.

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