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But What IS It?

A Sunday afternoon walk in the park can mean different things to different people. Fresh air. Exercise. For you and the dog. An hour of reflection and relaxation before heading back to work on Monday morning.

For me, a Sunday afternoon walk in the park sometimes means coming home with feet soaking wet (in January), pants frozen up to my knees, with ice and mud clinging to the front of my once-clean parka. My wife has stopped inquiring how these things happen; she at last understands there are times when the only way to get THE SHOT is to lie on your belly along the bank of the river while positioning your camera six inches off the ground and making every attempt to keep it dry. She never lacks for laundry.

This image, which I call Blue Ice, has a lot going on in it. More than enough colors, shapes and textures to keep you busy for a long while and still find something new each time you come back to it. I doctored it up a bit to give a more surreal look because the scene itself felt that way. It garners a lot of attention at art shows, and I invariably hear the comment, “This is so very interesting, but what IS it?”

The answer begins in the upper right-hand corner where you see a heavy, dark object lying at an oblique angle. That is the trunk of dead tree which has fallen over the bank of the Niagara River and hangs above the surging water. As the water rises and falls, this being winter in Western New York, icicles form along the bottom of the tree trunk and are suspended over the shoreline and the rocks below. On a sunny day (yes, we do get them even in January) the ice begins to melt and drip, forming droplets on the ends of the icicles. With continuous melting and re-freezing, those droplets grow in size, cling together, and sometimes break off in whole or in part.

Dead tree, ice, rocks, sand and gravel. So that is what you see. I see the mud in my truck on the drive home.

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Thanks Paul. I prefer to leave the hard work to others, but the dirty clothes part I have down.


Nicely done, Joe. Hard work and dirty clothes pay off!

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