Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alien Ice - Cleveland Deep Freeze

© Stuart Pearl 2010 (Click Image to Enlarge)

I was just a few miles from downtown Cleveland.. And yet the landscape resembled a frozen moon. Bizarre shapes surrounded me in the 15 degree weather as I slowly hiked across the icy boulder field.

It had been at least 10 years since I'd last visited Cleveland's Edgewater Park Beach. Back then it was sunny and 85 degrees. Surf sprayed across the rocky beach as I strolled in shorts and shirtsleeves back then.

Today I wore a flannel shirt, fleece vest, parka, hat, hood and earmuffs. The cameras were not so well protected and the batteries died after 90 minutes.

A thin coat of bright powder covered uneven ice and it was difficult to find a safe pathway. The setting sun glared off trunk shaped icicles and caused deep shadows between the shoreline boulders.

Some of the structures resembled sea anemones, pointing skyward, in search of aerial plankton.

The odd thing was the twisted nature of these lakeshore stalagtites. In Early January while the lake was cold but still unfrozen, the high winds must have whipped the surf spray at an angle across the trees and shrubs. Ice then formed as the wind-driven droplets twisted around branches and trunks causing the extraordinary patterns.

Other structures resembled spiked leviathans foraging across the boulder strewn landscape.

With Lake Erie to the north, a few lone shrubs still manage to rise from the snow and ice.

Although the landscape fascinated me in the warm, late afternoon light, I was curious how it would appear under cooler, early morning illumination.

Returning two days later at 7:15, I encountered a bleak overcast sky with just the faintest morning glow. The quality of the light was completely different from Saturday's high contrast sun, with an emphasis now on the blue part of the spectrum.

You can see an enlarged slide show of these images by clicking HERE.

1 comment:

Marlene said...


These are breathtaking. I am so glad you shared these.