Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Fire and Ice

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

  Some cool ice formations i came across on the gravel road one chilly morning at Donner State Park in the Sierra Mountains of California.  Frozen in time, gone by the afternoon’s melting sun.  What hidden messages does the crystallized water have for a wandering wayfarer? 

   I was reminded of the poem “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost, which my English teacher had us memorize in high school. I thought it was a cool poem then but i remember she was kind of excited sharing it with us at the time. I never really got why she was so excited, but reading it now i get it. It  talks about Nature and Destruction. Nature and Destruction are Awesome!!

                               “Some say the world will end in Fire

                                                  Some say in Ice

                                   From what I’ve tasted of desire

                                 I hold with those who favor Fire.

                                        But if it had to perish twice

                                     I think I know enough of hate

                                    To say that for destruction Ice

                                                    Is also great

                                              And would suffice. “       

  Now i even get why she accented and spaced the words the way she did. Adults are so…………. entertaining. 

   Robert Frost spent a significant portion of his life in New England, writing, teaching and walking about in the woods among other things. Many of his poems are about Nature and his interactions with Her.  I guess in this poem he was linking two human qualities that would tend toward the dark side of our beings, with elements in Nature, and then personifying them.


Wandering bears in the snow, flocks of Hooded and Common Mergansers, (lophodytes cucullatus), chattering kingfishers, minks and beavers. This well- used beaver trail connects a pond with a nearby mountain stream. It rises right over a well used hiker and auto trail. 



 You can see the hand-like beaver tracks intersect with the tire prints. I figured the beavers used the trail to drag brush from its foraging area, pond, to its burrow/lodge  in the bank of the stream.

  The interesting thing about this park is that it has a railway  going directly through it. So all of a sudden you will be hiking along and a giant freight train blazes by with much ferocity and clamor.

  A downed, weathered Pine, with accompanying beetle trails, a mysterious and silent melody written on the staff of Life, now past and dead.


Monday, January 30th, 2012

Cool bridge up at Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada where i went wandering yesterday. That’s Donner lake in the background. It’s like an adult playground up there. A high mountain playgound. Everyone goes up there to ski, hike, climb, paddle and party. Its kind of ridiculous.

Gorgeous granite bulb-giants sticking up into the skies like strange alien rocket ships emerging and then freezing in the mountain air.  Here’s a close up of the granite. Beautiful dark-black flakes mixed with white and a hint of peach.

Incredible black, white and neon green lichen covering the rock surface. Lichen is an incredible organism that lives on surfaces such as stone or bark, absorbing the moisture and nutrients from the soil,dust and debris it finds there.  Scientists have found that some lichen can be thousands of years old. They are super hardy, which is why they can live so long.

Fat sheets of rippled ice slowly marching down the face of the rock. Despite all the frozen water, it was quite a warm day.

Looking closely at the intricacies of Nature’s creations, one sees a brilliant mastermind, artist-architect at work.  The Beauty-Intelligence of the universe. One that makes the geese to migrate across vast oceans, the buds to open up to the sunshine in the spring, our blood to pump continuously through our bodies.  We have yet to fully understand and grasp it all. Even the sharpest scientists of our human species. A mystery. A mystery that whirls and rotates and rises and falls in perfect time, all around us.