Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ice on the shore

The combination of salt water and freezing temperatures produces some interesting patterns around the edges.

Damp wood, with ice crystals. Not snow.

Wet, soft organics, like wood and seaweed, collect ice. Frozen wet stones beside them do not.

This peeled log has a sheet of ice where it is splashed with every wave. The inland side is ice free, although it is not as salty.

Waterlogged stump, with "glaciers".

This worm-carved bit of wood was drying out in a sunny patch. There's only a light dusting of frost at the bottom. The whitish layer inside a few of the once-tubes looks like part of a tube worm's protective coat.

*Update: the "worm" would be a shipworm or Teredo, not a worm but a clam. It makes itself a long burrow, up to three feet long. Photo here.

An old kelp crab's carapace. Its colour (usually brownish green) has changed, probably due to exposure. The white ice tracks are where I removed frozen-on eelgrass. The red seaweed is firmly anchored, growing on the carapace.

Shells and coralline seaweed act like stones, rejecting ice. There's ice in the cracks of the wood at lower right, and on a tiny sliver of wood above.

Proud bit of log up where the sun shines, turning thumbs down at those silly, lazy logs just lying on the shore collecting ice.

Catching a few rays.

These poor mallards! They were resting, some sleeping, in a tiny patch where the sun filtered through the trees. And I came walking along the beach, quietly, trying not to disturb them, but they woke up and hurried out into the water, out of my path.

When I returned, heading back to the car, there they were again, in that couple of square metres of sunlight, collecting warmth for the long, cold night. And again, I woke them and they swam away into the chilly sea. Sorry, y'all!


  1. It's a tough time out for all living things, but the ice and snow has made for a beautiful view. - Margy

  2. I was fooled by an ice beach at Neah Bay. Rocks can form saltwater ice and I have the deformed pinky to prove it. It was one of my favorite visits to the coast, the ice many everything a bit more magical

    1. I should have said rocks don't get icy, at THIS spot, on THIS day, at THIS temperature and humidity, I guess.:)


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