When Ice Shapes Art…

Ice sheet with embedded pancake ice breaking into fragments on the Otonabee River, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

It’s spring and every day on the river is different. One day the ice thaws. The next day it reforms only to thaw again.

Ice sheet stitched together by ice pancakes and fragments, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

I love watching the process of ice pancake formation and reformation on the Otonabee River. It starts with primordial ice-froth, which then coagulates into ice sheets. These sometimes look like fabric or white felt.

Giant ice fragments with embedded pancake ice break off ice sheets in spring on the river, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

Then entire sheets break up into long fragments like giant pieces of glass shards, all floating down the river, little opaque pancakes embedded in clear glassy sheets. And the water beneath is the darkest blue.

Ice pancakes glued into an ice sheet by clear ice formed around them (photo by Nina Munteanu)
Ice sculptures form as wave-induced ice shuga collide and form strange shapes, Otonabee River, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” by Pixl Press(Vancouver) was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications (Toronto) in June 2020.

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