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The Best of Winter 2010-2011
INTRODUCTION The decaying pilings found in Lake Charlevoix at Boyne City, Michigan, are the only remnants of the roundhouse that stood at the waterfront during the town's lumbering days. Liz discovered them back in 2009 when, after walking to the bank from the deli, she took a slight detour to the water's edge with her digital camera which she had slipped into her pocket. Thus began her close relationship with these pilings which she came to refer to as “the guys,” and her fascination with nature's ice sculpture.
As winter approached, her guys began a transformation. It was the beginning of the making of the ice creatures.
Winter 2009 The Ice Cave Troglodytes The Originals
My Favorites Ice Country Updates of 2010
December 20, 2010
Colony – Liz, “Last year I didn't discover the pilings as subjects until the lake was frozen and they were already shrouded in rounded humps of ice sloping directly up from the surface. They were still fascinating, but I had no idea they had gone through this phase. The sunny, calm day was perfect for getting the most out of the reflections.”
Bear River Totem
It froze. It melted. It's freezing again, minus all the eye-catching drips and shards.
January through April 2011 ICE BLUE SUNSET
This is the last in this series In the picture on the next page Liz explains how she set up for the series Liz explained it, and I cracked up.
Liz says: There is so much to be gained from not minding how many passers by (most of whom you probably know) point and smile and shake their heads. That way you're free to throw on the waders and wander around in a frozen river on a day that was -20F when you woke up, break off a beautifully scalloped chunk of ice, pose it on a bean bag on the roof of your car so you can get the sunset behind it, and then spend the next half hour snapping away. In the street. Still in your waders.
Snow on the Railroad Bridge over the north branch of the Boyne River
MAP DETAIL: A Closer Look
30 January 2011
I see Liz sit at her computer studying these pictures. When she named this one I couldn't understand where the name came from until I looked into the ice. Ah yes. HANDSPRING
It's amazing what you find when you look inside. This was taken on 2 February 2011 Liz said: I went out under the dock last night with a flashlight and a lot of clothing
Lachryma Ursa Tincta Inside Lake Street Market, Boyne City, Michigan hanging in front of a stained glass window Watching it melt and transform
There are lots of ways to be obsessed about ICE
And the Last of This Series
Just stare at this one for a while.
This is all reflection, created by shining a flashlight down through some elevated ice forms and then shooting the water underneath.
Straits of Mackinac
One of many foot-thick slabs of blue ice tossed casually onto the frozen surface of the Mackinac Straits. Other than cropping and a slight punch to the contrast, I have done nothing to this image--Lake Michigan and the sunset sky did all the work.
Sun Dog Fish
Strewn about among and atop the giant slabs of ice at the Straits are polished chunks. It seems odd that they are so smooth and yet not frozen together by the water that must have smoothed them.
ICE ON FIRE Like cooling lava, but smoother. And blue. Yeah. Sometimes it's hard for ME to believe there isn't fire inside that ice, and I was the one out there trying to keep warm.
A Lake Michigan jewel doing its part to bend the sunset .
Look into the edge during sunset and you find incredible blues filled with streaks of gold.
Sunset Scrawled on Blue 1
Ever since the blue "agate ice" of Mackinac a month ago I have been obsessed with looking for chances to shoot sunsets THROUGH the ice. Spent the last three nights wading around in Lake Charlevoix, breaking ice and stacking it and trying to force coolness. I was so consumed with this idea (which was nearly fruitless) that I almost missed the insane beauty a few yards away that was just sitting there waiting to be seen. The squiggle here is created by a lip edge of ice as it transitioned from thicker (and higher) to thinner...this edge caught the sunset, and the lines and variations in it are distorted mini-reflections of the line of old pilings running across the lake further out.
Liz didn't know it, but I was sitting on a bench on the shore watching her take about an hour to set this up, wading around in her chest highs. Here's her take on it: Why I should stop trying to pose Mother Nature.
I went into the lake three nights in a row, trying to do a better job of this shot. Never did. Found some other great ice, just as it was. So I have decided to quit stacking, and go back to looking.
This is not a stunning image, but it provides context for those that follow.
The ice on Lake Charlevoix is melting, and until I got in it I hadn't thought about how complicated a process that is. It doesn't simply become thinner and thinner until it disappears. It actually becomes...well I was going to say porous, but I think fibrous is more accurate if you indulge me about the "fibers" being relatively short. It is a giant pack of ice splinters that remains mostly intact because the splinters have nowhere to go, except on the edges. There they get pushed around and piled up by the moving water, or heaved up in chunks by the wader-clad knee of a curious photographer. Once out of the water and onto the surface, the chunks break apart with a merry tinkle. I wish someone would come with me and shoot video. During the golden hour, when the sun is pretty much sideways, it's hard for the light to penetrate the mass of splinters that comprise the melting ice on the lake. But it glints all over the uneven surface and the texture is amazing if you look closely. Fun to scoot around on, too--it squishes like a bog. Just make sure you stay where it's not too deep if you bust through!
During the golden hour, when the sun is pretty much sideways, it's hard for the light to penetrate the mass of splinters that comprise the melting ice on the lake. But it glints all over the uneven surface and the texture is amazing if you look closely. Fun to scoot around on, too--it squishes like a bog. Just make sure you stay where it's not too deep if you bust through!
It's fascinating to look into the ice when it's at this stage.
Section detail of sunset sky through the holes.
The surface of Lake Charlevoix through the holes, with sunset sky reflection.
UNTIL NEXT YEAR