Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cold - Thematic Photography

Well we have had some snow at last, but not deep enough to be measured and it was gone within 12 hours.

Yesterday morning  was very cold and we had an unusual sight in the garden. in fact something we had never seen before.


Bird bath with a upward icicle

9-10 inches long
With nothing but ice inside


It can't have been formed from drips from the tree on the left that is over 4 feet away.

Our leaning 'tower' of ice survived for nearly eight hours, slowly melting away.

Carmi's request for us to post something cold at Thematic-photographic-366. couldn't have been better timed.

And we have been left wondering how our icicle came about.


Next day the Weather Eye column in the Times explained how ice spikes like ours are formed.

Basically its created by the expansion of ice, by about 8%, when it freezes. A sheet of ice on a pool like a bird bath spreads from the sides towards the centre, until only a small hole is left on the frozen surface.

Ice starting to form below the hole can push water up, forming a hollow spike of ice, rather like a straw. As more water is pushed up the 'straw', it freezes round the rim at the top - and so the spike grows longer. Eventually the whole tube of water freezes, leaving the pinnacle of ice standing up like a spike.

12 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - I gather it's sleeting in Leicestershire this a.m. - thankfully we haven't had any down here .. but a hardish frost overnight.

That icicle is fascinating ... and I wonder how - when you find out .. I know you'll have another theme: "I found out how" - absolutely incredible to see ..

Cheers Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

Hilary - you won't believe this but today's Times column Weather Eye is all about how such ice spikes are caused.

aw said...

Are you going to let on how they are formed, Bob?
I think one of the most poignant and unusual gravestones I ever came across was a for a child killed by an icicle falling from the church roof. Not something you generally think of in that context.
Ann

Karen S. said...

I like your birdbath, and it does seem very cold indeed out there! Underneath the snow in my birdbath is that same thick ice!

L. D. said...

I have never heard of an ice spike before now. Good shots to show this strange thing in nature.

Common Household Mom said...

THAT is BIZARRE! Thanks for documenting this phenomenon in your photos.

Tony McGurk said...

Your upward icicle sure is an odd freak of nature Bob.We have a bird bath in our garden too & it has never frozen any other way but Flat. Very strange mystery indeed as to how it came about.

Gilly said...

Weird!! Looks like an icy thunderbolt! Now I shall have to Google the article in the Times! Great shots, too. As usual :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Had to have been space ice aliens

Common Household Mom said...

Thank you for the explanation. It doesn't make it any less astounding.

Alexia said...

So interesting - and thank you for the explanation.

carmilevy said...

I freaked out a little - in a good way - when I first saw this photo, Bob! I thought for sure a little mischievous bird was playing a trick on all of us :)

Thankfully there's an explanation. And thankfully we have you to share scenes and moments like this. Love it!