It is interesting to see when nature imitates nature; the similar appearance between viceroy and monarch butterflies, the “hawk cry” from a blue jay and the scores of insects that camouflage with various backgrounds. Often mimicry has developed overtime and provides a survival edge in our dog-eat-dog world.
Prior to our last snowfall, our winter walkers have been treated to ice patterns on the Duck Ponds that mimic tree branches. Upon first glance, it looked as if the overhanging tree limbs were casting shadows on the ice below, but on close inspection (and the astute observation that it was a grey, overcast day) I realized it was simply ice art. I am not one to anthropomorphize; I don’t think that the ice had “an intent” or an evolutionary benefit for replicating tree branches. I simply am curious as to the conditions that created these patterns on the ice. The ponds have frozen for many years but never before in this way.
Now the ponds are snow covered after the two snowfalls of last week. I am curious to know if these patterns still exist underneath the white blanket and if they do, will they reemerge as the snow melts away?
If you think that there is nothing to see in the winter landscape, then think again. Besides getting much-needed fresh air and exercise this time of year, it offers a quiet world of exploration that is much different from the other seasons. So put on your high-tech winter gear (or old-fashioned, tried-n-true down and wool) and see what lies outside waiting for you.