Dark Frozen Water

Begwns Frozen Water Weed and Bracken

Most of the time a muddy frozen puddle looks exactly just that, but very occasionally it can look as if someone has painted it. What struck me about this shallow frozen pond, high up on the Begwns, was the contrast between the dark frozen water and wind blown powdered snow.

Static weather conditions can produce transitions that appear to be quite regular with each layer of ice forming neatly beneath the last. But when weather and temperature vary night to night the effects can become extraordinarily beautiful.

Successive daytime thaws followed by night-time freezes have trapped gas bubbles and wind blown snow particles that combine with the calligraphic forms of dead bracken and grasses to make a composition that reminds me of Turner’s elemental paintings.

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Bubbles

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What for most of the year is a shallow grassy pond: a summertime nursery for thousands of tadpoles, transforms with the onset of winter and through the interaction of ice and organic decay, into an intensely complex time capsule. Over successive nights the water freezes from the surface down. At each freezing stage bubbles of gas rising from the decaying plant material below are trapped under the last ice layer as the water in the new layer freezes around them.