5 Feb 2012
It takes special conditions in order for ice bells to form. There has to be open water, the air must be significantly colder than the water, and the water must be unsettled enough to splash upward, freezing on contact with a stick, branch, fallen log or rock. This happens along the river on cold, windy nights in early and late winter when the river isn't frozen over. It also happens in what I call My Sanctuary, an area below a dam where a chasm provides a whitewater cascade. The splash and spray work their magic whenever the air temperatures are below freezing, the colder the better!
I'm always amazed and intrigued by the variety of designs Mother Nature fashions. Some are clear, with excellent refraction of the scene behind. They come in short, stocky slabs or long, dangling ornaments. Some are gracefully bell-shaped. No two are ever the same, each having its own potential to delight the appreciative admirer.