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  …

Galactic

the x-ray anatomic …

Anatomic

the amebic, swimming in fissures …

Amebic

the folkloric, the fantastical Lions of Winter …

Folkloric

the geologic …

Geologic

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

Ice9

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

Ice10

Dripping downward, tubular into hanging lanterns …

Tubular

Tubular

Refracting light through its crystal faces …

Icing

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.

Crystaline

 

 

 

1Science News, Sept 7, 2013

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