A little later I noticed white puffs off to my right, as though someone
had dropped tissues. I looked closer and saw that these objects were
ribbons of ice. They were not growing out of the ground as ice wedges
do. These ribbons seemed to be hanging from branches. The more
I review this photo I suspect the ice has slid down the twigs from the
original position. The little patch of ice on the lower twig on the
left makes me think the larger glob of ice was once located here.
The ribbon above is made up of loops seeming to hang down from the
twigs. The ribbons show parallel bands similar to
tree rings. Based on what others have said about these, I now know
the ribbons are extruded from the stems of these plants.
In the example below you can tell the size of the ribbons by comparing
them to the Oak leaves on the ground. I originally thought this
ribbon of ice radiated out from the node at the junction of the
stems. I now realize it was extruded from the stem with more ice
being extruded at the bottom than at the top. Thus, it appears to
have rotated around the junction of the stems. This same process
seems to have occurred in the second ribbon at the bottom. I am not
ready to explain what produced the tight spiral in between these two
Below is one that seems to be curled up along one edge. That edge
does not appear to have broken off, but perhaps it was broken
and differential melting has produced this scalloping.
We broke off a piece and looked through it. These ribbons of ice
are very thin, as shown by the piece in Greg's hand. In this example
the parallel bands look like growth rings, but it likely these striations
are formed by variations in the width of the slit from which the ice was
Below is another example, in this case above a non-leafy surface.
This demonstrates leaves are not a required component of this process, but
the stems are present.
As I remember all of these ice ribbons were
found along a north-facing slope. In December 2004 I returned to the Park to see if I could find the place where I saw these
ice ribbons the year before. I did not find that place, but I did
find some ice ribbons or ice flowers in another place and in somewhat
different forms. There are two pages showing what I
found in 2004.
In 2005 I found such ice formations in northern Kentucky and in central Virginia.
Check these out, for they are somewhat different than what I show here but
they are the same things.
From this point I made my commitment to exploring such ice in nature. To
follow the thread of such ice occurring in nature look at my Ice Flower web page.
Note the process of producing Ice Flowers is Ice Segregation.
But my web pages attracted attention from people looking to find answers
to strange ice formations. That has led to many interesting worlds of ice reflected on a variety of web
Please send any thoughts and comments to me--Dr. Jim Carter at [email protected]