Are you in or are you out? That's what I kept thinking about winter, as I trudged along on a frigid beach walk, the wind doing nothing to sand down my mood, though my face was taking a shellacking. It is that strange, tentative, brave time of the northern year. The witch hazel is brilliant; snowdrops are peeping forth; seaweed is looking acidly fresh; yellow crocus glint in the dead leaves. Geese are migrating; the cardinals have arrived.

By the time I got round the bend to the pond, I was grimly determined not to succumb to the temptation to hitchhike (though I wonder if anyone up here would stop? or has ever seen a hitchhiker?) Then something along the edge of the pond caught my eye, and I stretched my turtled neck up a bit from my coat collar to look further, and there, at the edge of the water, was a miracle of laced and crenellated ice.

I can only imagine the conditions that made this display possible. Everything soaked, drenched, dripping, and then a sudden snap? Water pooling around the base of cattails, and then suddenly upthrusting with a plummet in temperature? It was breathtakingly beautiful--such an in between place--frozen, and thawing. The pond was open; a current of water moved rapidly across the middle.

As I gazed, images of Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures bubbled across my memory; I could see how Andy Goldsworthy could find inspiration here. Some of the ice had turned into rock crystal carved around broken twigs.

Some of it had mounded, bearing an eerie resemblance to jellyfish. There was the promise of summer, of the sand littered with moony translucent discs catching the sun as the tide creeps out, leaving them beached.

How odd is the behavior of ice. I don't understand it--the science of it--I wish someone would explain how it creeps and thrusts and drapes and heaves, how it hangs on while around it everything else melts. Its magic is not, however, beyond comprehension.

I broke into a trot, raced home for my camera, not to lose the light of the setting sun, which of course played tricks on me anyway. My fingers froze, but at least I could share this sight...that is the motivation behind so much photography, isn't it? I want to show you....you won't believe what I saw....

So here's my slow love moment--and I did feel a pang in my heart, a stab of love for this gorgeous world, and a longing for it to go on forever, and an ache because it won't. Even as I want this moment to last, I am aware of that I want an end to the cold, just as, months from now, I will want an end to the heat...But there is the ice to tell me that nothing will ever be this beautiful again. Until something else is. Winter's end, teetering with abandon at the edge of the stage, taking her final bows in this long curtain call of a season's close. There will probably be more snow, more ice, more frost, but here, meditate on a glimpse of time thwarted, thaw stopped cold.


Sonia said...

How beautiful! Thank you.

Christa said...

This is just stunning - both the images and your words.

I grew up on marshes and thank you so much for bringing the memories of the magic found there back to me...

pve design said...

So glad you shared these with us as all I seem to see are mounds of dirty snow, and now I think I shall look for the beauty of the melting as some sort of natural art show.

Lindsey said...

Breathtaking ... "I did feel a pang in my heart, a stab of love for this gorgeous world, and a longing for it to go on forever, and an ache because it won't" is gorgeous articulation of a feeling that often stops me cold, makes me gasp, and fills me with an inchoate but powerful emotion.
Thank you. xo

pavlova said...

Breathtaking indeed! I concur with Lindsey.....you have such a talent to convey feelings with words. Thank you for this lovely post as winter wanes here in New England.

Anonymous said...

I wondered if you carried a camera on all your walks now I know you ran home to get it which means you live close to this wondrous beauty. These photos are pure magic. Thanks for starting my day off with such beauty.

Bruce Barone said...


I was thinking of Goldsworthy, too. And Christo!

by Joan Gage said...

Stunning photographs! I would love to know what kind of camera you use (although I do realize that the photographer's eye, not the camera, is what makes these photos so special.)

Anonymous said...


vicki said...

stunning images.

i, too, had mysterious ice event, here in the garden. Approximately 2 inches of melted snow had collected in the heavy steel bird bath during the balmy afternoon. Temps dropped 30 degrees overnight and when i went out to check on bird station i found a large thumb-shaped & sized column rising up out of the middle of the ice in the bird bath. i was so flummoxed i just stood staring at it. Finally took hold with my fingers and tested: it was solid. so was almost of the rest of the water in the bowl--just a trickle in the middle.

i also marvel at the physics at play--and wonder, every winter, how individual drips get frozen and collected into those rippling icicles. but these images of yours and the bird bath "thumb" really have me scratching my head.

Blue said...

Lovely images - the one with the bullrushes my favourite.

Spring in Atlanta has begun with pear and cherry blossom and there's new, almost electrically lime green leaflets on some tree. We've already had a chance (a mere day or two) to take off the winter coats - probably makes you want to throw a chip or two of ice my way!

mary said...

Dominique, thank you, once again, for making me pause and start my day immersed in the beauty of our world and the miracles of creation. Thank you for telling me notice and give thanks. Mary

Ann Martin said...

Simply stunning, both Mother Nature and your photographic skills. I'm glad you took the time to run for your camera.

Verdigris Vie said...

What a beautiful post. You know those beautiful moments happen when you decide to walk a few feet farther, or take the road less traveled. It's wonderful that you captured this on film...


Big Hug Studio said...

These are beautiful. Who knew ice could resemble art?

Unknown said...

Beautiful images. I have found after living on Orcas Island in Washington for the past few years that winter is even more beautiful than the other seasons. I don't get cabin fever as long as I get out and hike everyday.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Unknown said...

Beautiful images....smiles.

dtsimage said...

Exceptional. Extraordinary.

Ice formations, like snowflakes, are never to repeated again.

You are truly gifted.

Dona Mara said...

As I sit here watching the weather turn around yet again, it was 52 earlier and now is 30 and raining ice, I am returning to look at your photos a second time. You captured the beauty of the ice and your words reminded me to seek that beauty. Thank you for that.

Unknown said...

How lovely!

Layanee said...

Expect the unexpected. These are beautiful.

kathi said...

Amazing photographs......... definitely an Andy Goldsworthy moment.

mama p said...


Unknown said...

Thank you, as always. You capture the pure joy & love of which you write. Thankfully you are with us to share these moments & bring us brief 'moments in time'.

Privilege of Parenting said...

Lindsey sent me, and I'm glad she did. Such lovely images reminding me of ancient Marches in Chicago, so far from the night blooming Jasmine of my current March in LA, yet absolutely congruent with the aching beauty of impermanence.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lindsey sent me too, as she so generously does. These are incredible, capturing that breathtaking "You'll never believe what I saw". Thank you for running, freezing, writing, sharing...

Heather Robinson said...

I so loved this entry yesterday. Received this poem this morning as part of Daily Lit's "Poem a day" and it seemed too perfect not to mention. A different time of year but similar emotions:


By Jim Powell

On the back way
there are planks laid
across the swampy places,
jet black loam where water
pools in the dents,

a place on the path
I double back to
and catch myself returning
mirrored in a sheet
of water, the world

doubled back
in the glassy pool:
wind animates the leaves
and the glint shaken from them
winks flickering

in the pond dreaming
at the secret center
past the last screen
of ferns and creepers, bramble

and periphrastic
evasions this place
a steady witness for
the rehearsal of a ghostly
life in signs

and tokens, clairvoyant
the way dreams
betray us to ourselves
in a changeling masquerade

another nature
another self
to read in the face there
in the water till reflection
troubles the mirror.

Jill said...

Thank you for running back for your camera, these are just stunning!!!

Tree said...


Thank you for sharing your eye to help open ours. Thank you for shairng your words to help form ours.

Thea said...

amazing photographs! i, too, can't wait for the warmth of spring,but there is something to be said for these gorgeous ice formations. have you ever been to niagara falls in february? yes, it's freezing, but worth it to see the ice formations. (go to the canadian side)

SweetRetreat said...

Stunning photographs and writing. I see a small flotilla of sail boats in the first. Ice is amazing, although difficult to appreciate when dealing with icy conditions.

There is hope of spring in the air, in spite of a major storm on the weekend. The warmth of the sun eventually wins.

Thank you for the reminder to stop and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

so beautiful, peaceful and appreciated-----for you: go to frazil ice yosemite and you'll smile at perfect yosemite and the west turning for spring

Dana Udall-Weiner said...

What stunning photos and delicious words. That capture the change and yet freeze a moment. Beautiful.

Rochelle said...

Stunning formations like nothing I have ever seen. Thank you for taking us with you on your walks and inside your head as you contemplate things big & small. Lovely.

Karena said...

Oh Dominique this is some of the most beautiful photography of this nature I have seen in some time. Very moving and poignant prose!

Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

If you want to know about ice, read the wonderful book by Peter Hoeg "Smila's Sense of Snow". I loved being transported into her world and imagine you will as well. Thank you for the beautiful images!

Cristina said...

totally mesmerizing and gorgeous too.
thanks for enduring the frozen fingers for our benefit!

Ashling said...

Of all the posts I've read on Slow Love Life, this is for me the most beautiful, evocative, poetic, exquisite....your photos and words entwine in a slow dance that brings tears to the eyes.

Denise said...

Absolutely exquisite, both your photographs and your words. And brava to you for heeding the call--and slowing to love the life that sat right in front of you.

c said...

isn't Nature amazing?

while spring gets lots of attention (and why shouldn't it, how wonderful to see those first crocuses under crinkly brown leaves), and summer is just about everyone's idea of relaxaton (vacation time, bbqs) while autumn gets rave reviews for brilliant foliage under deep blue skies, very few of us consider winter on a par with any other season, except for skiers who appreciate it because of snow. But,

I have never, ever, seen or read a more awe inspiring ode to ice.

Thank you!

[btw, I echo so many others - your eye for photographs is superb]

Anonymous said...

My goodness, these are breathtaking photos. I am so glad you ran home to get your camera. I love the fierceness and the gentleness of these images frozen in time by the lens of your camera.

Priscilla said...

Thank you, Ms. Browning, for the beautiful images and sweet words. They describe the way I feel about the season that is disliked by most but most loved by me. Peace.

Vivien said...

Wonderful photographs, and illuminating.

A Life Unhurried said...

As Jill said, thank you for going back for your camera. I only wish I was the one to have seen these extraordinary works of nature myself. For me, it is nature's beauty that inspires my images. Thank you, Dominique for sharing. -Grace

online degree said...

You give wonderful image of winter water. I like to watch this images again and again. Its magical nature beauty. This beauty is amazing and unbelievable.

Cherrie said...

I've just wandered into your blog via a foray to Sam Jaffe's newest caterpillar website. Your grateful eye for the momentary beauty in frozen landscapes echoes my own. Such lovely forms and light you've framed for us! I invite you to visit my own slow meanderings and musings through the wildlands that shape each of my days, http://sense-of-place-concord.blogspot.com/.

House Design said...

I love the photos. I love the melting of the snow. It signals that summer is coming.

Anonymous said...

Fabio sees the move - and the potential for establishing himself in
the Barclays Premier League - as important to his development http://moocowpaydayloans.co.uk once you
happen to be approved america one funding would immediately supply you with along together with your secured personal

Anonymous said...

Small Loans With Bad Credit - Advice on How to Get Small Loans When Your Credit
is Bad pay day uk can you
get affordable interest rates on bad credit auto loans.

Anonymous said...

But, even as well, responsibilities are much more an easy task to face quick Loans yep,
but there is one massive difference the funding

Anonymous said...

You may obtain loans from banks, lending firms,
banks, and marine manufacturing companies pay day Loans this makes the engines like google look
at the domain jointly that is specifically dedicated to that particular search

Anonymous said...

And they've got to remain empty handed unless they manage to get thier next payday uk payday loans thus one option is employment, but finding employment after graduation is a challenge of itself.

Anonymous said...

Looking for virtually any faxless pay day loan here is really a lot easier than any other
time loans acceptable as the bankruptcy of
somebody normally leaves a poor credit history for next seven years you might
not be welcomed by motor finance companies if person
has been discharged of his bankruptcy recently.

Anonymous said...

To them, your having a comfortable job is the better
kind of guarantee which you'll not pose a business risk and that it really is safe to provide you with a advance loan on your own salary earnings payday loans south africa one must try and avoid such situations since the extension fee charged is exorbitant and frequently the borrower also might turn out paying considerably more than what he had borrowed.

Anonymous said...

Loan originators mark the rate with Yield Spread Premium for the belief that wholesale lender pays them an added bonus for charging you above market home
loan rates uk payday loans it holds as much as over
100 pages of proof for every customer.
my web page: uk payday loans

Anonymous said...

You just have to make use of and wait for that approval to
adopt place Payday loans uk free paycheck calculator is
actually a really convenient and straightforward assistant that you can
quickly and compute your net profit.

Anonymous said...

Hence, experts' advice to not use the loan card at the very least till some time you are saved out of this curse payday loan lenders florida can also be one from the states through which this loaning product is legal.

Anonymous said...

Instant cash loans are arranged without having any credit assessment
paydayloans grow your
new business: it may be possible for the new business to develop if there
exists enough space for growth.

Anonymous said...

Select a organization that may consider yourself- career as earnings
online payday loans good thing
is that you don't should delay in repayment because the finance you avail is endowed against your following payday and so you have to the cash within 14 to 30 days.

Anonymous said...

You have to be aware with the costs involved
in borrowing the money too Small Loans must be loan can incorporate plenty of
invisible expenses as an example interestobligations along with financial
expenses, a lot of people often avoid using first till maybe it's essential.

Anonymous said...

Make sure applying and receive a Pay - Pal debit card simple loan agreement
you must realise the bills you happen to become becoming
billed together with the pace appealing before getting financing.

Anonymous said...

The easiest strategy to fine the top online lender while using most moderate rate of interest would be to look for
that lenders with your state and compare their rates direct lenders payday loans
featured are payday plus bongo junior jeggings,
sale costing $12.

Anonymous said...

Credit cards often require cosigners unless students features a job how payday Loans work this no money down mortgage loan provides to get
a means of funding purchasing a property when there is
no amounts readily open to use being a deposit.

Anonymous said...

If there is certainly something in error, call the corporation and still have
it removed sonic payday loan unsecured
loans are seen as a - during and post global financial meltdown private and foreign lenderscontrolled unsecured loan offers
as a result of increased delinquencies.

Anonymous said...

6 billion in unemployment insurance benefits thus far this season,
compared to $950 million during all of 2008 small payday loan when someone with credit problems
and financial problems gets into a cycle like this they think it is very tough to escape.

Anonymous said...

You can perform a quick search on the Internet for fast auto title loan lenders and you is going to be presented having a long report
on collateral loan lenders who handle vehicle title loans cash advance loan online , according to
a write-up inside the huffington post on january 9, 2012.

Anonymous said...

With grants, and these alternative you might be able to
attend your college or university for less overall from the pocket than you once thought payday loan without checking account you'll learn what you are able to and can't do having a
score within this range so you'll find out what may be done to enhance your credit rating and your financial position generally.

Look into my site payday loan without checking account

Anonymous said...

Wow! At last I got a weblog from where I can actually take helpful
data regarding my study and knowledge.