Glacial Abstraction

Not to harp on about snow and ice – being in the midst of a New York winter doesn’t help. Snowy days are followed by slushy watery mixes of snow and rain. Snowy banks form along the road covered by brown sludge and dirt. But it all started out as beautiful fresh snow. Fluffy, white, pure, clean. There is indeed something special about a fresh snowfall and a city covered in muffled silence and peaceful powder. And then snow, compacted and frozen becomes something entirely different – glacial material. Despite snow being white, ice and glaciers are a deep blue color, evidence (if grossly simplified) of the compression of air bubbles in the snow until the ice becomes an ethereal blue, crystal aquamarine colour – stunning and mesmerizing.

The science is actually pretty fascinating…but even if one just focuses on the aesthetic, glaciers are gorgeous. And nowhere have I seen as gorgeous glacial material as in Patagonia. Moving, active glaciers – alive as they slide down mountains. Full of abstract shapes and sharp crystals. The ice can sometimes look like pockmarked, dirty surfaces, other times like castles of sharp crystals and castles. The ice can look smooth and shapely. Or other times contaminated and granular. The glacial blue material is definitely a great source of abstract artistic beauty. I have interspersed some of my great memories of Patagonia glaciers with shots that show the grand scale of these glaciers – if only you can get the perspective.

Indeed, nothing like snow and ice.

antarctic3911

Views of Perito Moreno Glacier from afar near El Calafate, Argentina.

antarctic3667

A city of ice…Perito Moreno is the size of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

antarctic3662

Craters and crystals.

antarctic3639

Coarse ice, brittle ice shelves. Textured castle walls.

antarctic3638

Crystal kingdoms #1

antarctic3636

Crystal kingdoms #2

Copy of antarctic3821

Blue Rhapsody at the Viedma Glacier, El Chalten.

Copy of antarctic3795

Lone explorer ahead on the Viedma Glacier, amidst the blue stillness.

antarctic4263

Blue flotation vehicle. A broken piece of glacial ice.

antarctic3693

The welcome to the Viedma Glacier, El Chalten, Argentina. Intense and rich colours and broken rock-like surfaces.

antarctic3698

Ice formations like brittle ice blocks with crystal growths.

antarctic3770

A moonscape full of craters of ice, abstract design.

antarctic3751

Crevasse #1

antarctic3750

Crevasse #2

antarctic3747

Overlooking the crevasse…group shot. El Chalten, Argentina.

antarctic3830

Pockmarks and textures #1

antarctic3828

Pockmarks and textures #2

antarctic3820

Glacial tunnels beneath the tower of ice, Viedma Glacier, El Chalten.

antarctic4093 EDITED

The view of Cierro Fitzroy after an 8 hour trek. The view was so spectacular we were left speechless. Surrounded by intense blues and greens, the layer of ice on the lake sat like an ice sheet – white and pure.

antarctic4079

Ice floating beneath the clouds, above the lake. Cierro Fitzroy, El Chalten.

antarctic4154

Icy reflections in the shadows, Cierro Fitzroy, El Chalten.

M xx

Advertisements

Snowmance

The storm that never was. As you may have heard: Winter Snowstorm Juno was a non-event (or non-snowstorm). Of course, the only time we got an official “snow day” to stay home from work, where the subway was closed for an historic overnight period, I happened to be out of town! Whereas most people get rather upset or concerned, me coming from a warm and temperate climate city like Sydney, I happen to find snowstorms extremely exciting!  Aptly, Snowstorm Juno was supposed to hit on Australia Day – January 26th, 2015! However – it didn’t quite eventuate – and so instead people just got overly critical of the public authorities and their (rational) excessive preparations! Seriously though, it’s crazy how living in New York in the winter makes you intensely aware of the impact that extreme weather has on your ability to go about your daily business.

This reminded me of last year’s Snowstorm Pax which took me and much of New York by surprise in early Feb 2014. It was my first experience of an extreme snowstorm – it was tough to get out of your house, let alone commute to work! In my excitement at being unable to get to work, I enthusiastically took to the streets with my camera at 7am and begun taking photos of the beautiful streets…now enshrouded in white. Purified and cleansed by the powdery clean snow.  The grey building and streets illuminated. People running through the silent streets became blurred figures of color standing out against the ice-queen whiteness.

IMG_0287

West 10th St and Waverly Place – the intersection with one of my favorite bookstores in the city (Three Lives) covered in a layer of powdery whiteness.

IMG_0284

More snow covered Christmas and pine trees than you’ll ever need!

IMG_0285

A heavy snowfall…enough to envelope your car!

IMG_0286

A gift from from the Snow Gods

It would have been fine if I hadn’t been supposed to take a flight to Australia for a wedding!! Yes – on the biggest snowstorm of the year last year, I literally ended up crying on phone to the Qantas flight representative (not something I would ever usually do…but in desperation I didn’t quite know what else to do!)…and so I was kindly passed onto a helpful customer service rep for the first time ever! The story has a happy ending – I somehow managed to escape the city via a completely rerouted flight and made the wedding (in case you were worried)! But more importantly…I also managed to take some fun photos of the snow storm; amidst a city quietened in a romantic snowfall. Enjoy these pictures of the West Village in the misty whiteness: a snowmance.

IMG_0283

The entry to my old apartment building romantically covered in sideways snow 

IMG_0281

The cast-iron gates outside my old apartment, wrapped up 

IMG_0280

Running for cover: pink and red masked in white. White marked by red and pink.

IMG_0267

Not going anywhere anytime soon – wheels buried in the snow on Waverly Place, New York City

IMG_0278

Quickly escape into the red brick house!

M xxx