The Fire and Ice Tower at its brightest.
The annual Medina, Ohio Ice Festival got off to its traditional start with the lighting of their Fire and Ice Tower on Public Square. On Friday, a hollow tower is built from blocks of ice and filled with firewood. Friday night sees the city’s fire department set the wood ablaze. An estimated 2,000 people were in attendance to enjoy the ceremonial lighting and to stroll the Square looking at ice carvings made earlier.
Lingering around the Fire
As it turned out, Friday night was likely the best time to view the displays as Saturday and Sunday brought temperatures in the 60s, playing havoc with sculptures made of ice!
Taking advantage of a cold but sunny Sunday afternoon, we made a quick trip to the shore of Lake Erie. The shoreline was piled with snow-covered ice, in wave-shaped mounds parallel to the coast. Ice that formed on a guard rail made glistening caramel-colored curtains, even walls, joining the steel tubes of the framework to each other and to the ground. And a stream flowed beneath a bright, snowy ice layer, visible sometimes, down a rocky fall and, under cover ice once again, to the lake. Nice to see the lake again.
Icy Harbor – Off Lorain
We took advantage of a fairly nice Sunday to make a cross-country trip to the Lake Erie coastline. After a stop or two along the way, we enjoyed lunch at the Rose Cafe in Lorain’s Lakeview Park. The lovely converted picnic shelter house is right on the beach. Fortified with flavorful veggie burgers and hot tea, I set out to explore the snow covered beach and view the dramatic, broken ice plates that had been pushed ashore. The frozen waters, framed by piles of ice and a rocky breakwall, put me in mind of a harbor.
New Year’s Selfie
It was a beautiful New Year’s Day so we took off on a cross-country, very scenic drive to lunch in Sandusky. As part of the return journey, we paid a visit to the Lake Erie shoreline and stopped at a couple of parks. Enduring strong winds and freezing temperatures was easy as scenes of wind-driven ice piled on beaches, dark waters, and blue skies inspired me. I wasn’t the only person exploring, however. Briefly checking in at Vermilion’s downtown beach, I spotted a couple from Arkansas standing upon the ice (safely over sand, not water) shooting a “selfie” photograph. I wish them, and you, a happy and healthy new year!
The Pond at Nature Realm. Yes, it was Green!
After a gloomy Saturday and a night that featured about four inches of heavy, wet snow, Sunday brought blue skies and sunshine. We took advantage of the gorgeous day and made a little trip to Summit MetroParks’ Nature Realm. The park’s paved pathway allowed for a nice photo walk without a slog through snow-covered mud. Bird calls filled the air as we took in the sights. Not a lot of photos to show for our casual trip but it was great getting out in the mild, fresh air, and feeling the sun shine on our faces. It has been a long, hard winter that seems not to want to end, and we’re looking forward to spring. Real spring.
Sky and Lake in Transition
Transitioning: The seasons are changing from winter to spring. Storms blow in. Lake ice moves out. A fierce wind buffeted me as I stood atop a pile of dirty ice, perhaps 10 feet deep, along the lake shore. Waves, beginning to stir, jostled the ice plates and occasionally sent spray showering over their edges. It was a dark day, today, with the promise of brighter days to come, though I was in awe of the transitioning.
Ice Cliffs on Lake Erie’s Shoreline
Ice Cliffs and Knolls: Formed along the Lake Erie beach by wind-driven waves and ice flows, sand-tinted piles mound high over the shore. Soon the ice will melt, the sand will drop back to the waterline, and wondering photographers will no longer walk suspended above the scene.
White Desert Out There
I’ve been tremendously busy lately, the annual bicycle events calendar project gobbling up as much time as I could give. So it was with great pleasure I was able to spend some time outdoors today shooting under a brilliant clear sky. This morning my subject was steaming waters flowing over an ice-enshrouded dam (at -3F), and at midday I visited the lake. I’m still recording the changing scene along the south shore of Lake Erie as we move toward the spring season. Since my last visit there, the winds and waters have piled the ice even higher over the sandy shoreline. Some of the beached ice plates have fractured and fallen, opening crevasses large enough to catch the legs of careless climbers. The sky today was clear and intensely blue highlighting the rough, barren expanse of ice. A good way offshore, a narrow passage has formed, a split between the lake’s ice cover and that attached to the shore. The gap forms river out of the lake.
Lake Erie today looked every bit the arctic or Antarctic desert. As far as could be seen to the north was a vast expanse of brilliantly lit snow-covered ice. Close to shore, shards of broken ice plate piled up a bit, accentuated by drifts of wind-driven snow. Here and there were dark patches, scudding across the white plain; they were the shadows of clouds floating above and behind me. Air moved across the lake as well and at 16F, bit hard my face and hands.
While I love the recent moody scenes I’ve seen and recorded along the lake shore, today was different. As I’ve said, the way the lake appears changes all of the time. Today brought sunny, blue skies decorated with sprays of cloud and it was beautiful… if still terribly cold. By the time I completed a 25-minute photo session this early afternoon, my gloved fingertips hurt! I had to hold my bare hands in front of the car’s heat vents as I drove away to relieve the pain. I captured many images of the lake, the sky, ice, and snow in the short space of time. Here’s one of my favorites.