Thursday Salute to Originals: A Day at the Beach in February
What can you do at a frozen beach in the middle of February? Well, around here, not much. Mother Nature, on the other hand, seems to escape the winter doldrums by whipping up playful creations of her own. Seaside materials such as sand and water whirl into whimsical shapes held together by icy conditions.
Nope, these aren’t part of the Arches National Park in Utah. These odd towers are Mother Nature’s version of a winter sandcastle. Made of frozen sand in a rare natural phenomenon where strong winds carve away the icy granules, the twisting turrets stand anywhere from just a couple inches to around a foot tall. But just like a summer sandcastle washing away with the tide, these beauties don’t last long. When temperatures warm even slightly, these sand formations disappear back into the sandy shores.
But there’s no sense in staying on the winter turf when Mother Nature can play in the winter surf. She won’t use an inner tube; instead, she’ll make her own version of the summertime float. These odd frozen ice “pancakes” result from foam being flash frozen and then swirled together into circular forms by water currents. Though not quite big enough to float on (they are about the size of a dinner plate), they do make the icy stream look oddly similar to a lazy river at a water park.
And what day at the beach isn’t complete without some good music? Mother Nature has that covered, too. When Lake Baikal in Russia freezes and conditions are just right, underwater currents cause ice to buckle and bulge onto the surface. But these ice chunks aren’t just beautiful to look at (they are stunning when the light hits them, aren’t they?). When struck, the ice resonates with notes that sound more like tropical music than a frozen tundra. Don’t take our word for it, watch the video and hear for yourself.
We’ll happily wait until temps get above freezing before we venture back to the beach. But for making the most out of winter at the water’s edge, we salute Mother Nature. Proof, yet again, that she is the ultimate artist – and snow bunny!