Sunday, March 13, 2011
After a rapid snow melt and subsequent rain, a meandering river overflows its banks about 1m higher than it normally would be. The water floods out for more than 100-150 meters in a small ravine valley and stays for better part of a day. At night, the top freezes over. And then it snows.
Sometime during the night, the water recedes. As the water level drop, the ice on the flat surfaces separate from the ice around the trees. In the growing warmth of the morning sun, the remaining thin tree snow-ice begins to sag under it's own weight: The results are what I call tree skirts.
Most were brittle and crumbly to the touch. The thickest ones no more than a cm thick. You could easily poke a finger right through them. As I hiked around photographing on the bumpy icy surface for a couple of hours, I kept hearing the cracks and slumping sounds as more and more dropped onto the ground.
If I had visited the area in the afternoon, I don't think I would have noticed them for what they were and would have thought they were just interesting snow drifts at the bases of certain trees.
Posted by Mike Wood at 16:23