Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth’s surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues.

Water is always in flux, mutable — liquid, vaporous, frozen — evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice sheet in Lake Vostok. This year, the machines of man shattered the frosty sleep of this buried lake. They forced her to give up her DNA. And that DNA revealed, quite possibly, a water flea and a mollusk … some microscopic water bears and even tinier rotifers. 1

I find my own personal cryosphere on a 23-degree day in Seattle. Instead of water bears, though, in this ice I see the planetary and the galactic  …

Formations in Ice

the x-ray anatomic …

Formations in Ice

the amebic, swimming in fissures …

Macro of Ice

the folkloric, the fantastical Lions of Winter …

Lion Fountain Frozen with Ice

the geologic …

Ice blocks at Lake Union Seattle

and the aesthetic of solid, liquid and reflection combined in a frame.

Trees Reflected in Ice on Pond

Ice builds its matrix upon the matrix of others, fusing crystals together in frozen cairns.

Ice Crystals on Leaves

Dripping downward, tubular into hanging lanterns …

Icicles Macro


Refracting light through its crystal faces …

Macro of Ice

Then finally, dripping into water again as kinetic energy breaks the ice lattice into a disarray of liquid — these visions of cryosphere and hydrosphere on my window panes, ponds and fountains.

Lattice of Ice

1Science News, Sept 7, 2013