Saturday, December 12, 2009
A crystal walk
There's no real snow in Duluth yet, but winter still has us in her grasp. It's amazing what simple cold can do to transform the landscape. I walked from our house to the Aerial Lift Bridge yesterday and took my camera along to see what I could find. It was five below zero. The lake was billowing its sea smoke.
The moisture coming off Lake Superior dusted everything it touched with crystals. Even a bit of driftwood on the sandy beach attracted a set of crystals so elaborate my son Noah asked casually, "I wonder what all those gull feathers are sticking to?" The most improbable set of ice stalagmites rose out of a frozen dune.
Rolling swells, left from the big snowstorm that went just south of us, built up smooth ice on rocks and walls. In the ship canal. thick drifts of fog ran out to sea side by side, jostling with each other. It looked like the running of the bulls, if only the bulls, racing out to sea, were made of steam and silence. A still picture doesn't do it justice.
I'd prefer snow, of course, but in the deep cold, nature graces us with all sorts of beautiful white stuff.