Anchor Ice at Calkins Creek

The colors of this Calkins Creek riffle lie on rocks and cobbles below  -  caused by colonies of algae and bacteria clinging to them. Then, on a very cold night, “anchor ice” formed here, coating the rocks and its visitors.

My notion is that yellow/greens of the microscopic communities are enhanced by this ice and the way it reflects winter sunlight. According to Don Hamilton, of the National Park Service, “It kind of looks like cloud formations on the stream bed sometimes, taking on the contours of the rocks."

Aware of nature’s cussedness, we’re also discovering how, beneath scenic riffles, anchor ice may bring menace  -  and ruin  -  to tiny animals that graze on  rock/algae communities.



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