As water cascades over the Brighton dam, splashes from it freezes as it hits the surrounding boulders and mounds of snow. Over time, the frozen splashes build into incredible shapes that hover over the rapidly moving water. In winters when we have weeks upon end of temperatures that never rise above freezing, these ice shelves on each side of the falls continue to build until they meet forming a tunnel that conceals the falls entirely.
That’s not happening this year. Our warm days wash away the build up. During bitterly cold periods, however, ice shelves form as shown here. The edges have smooth beads of ice stuck together in interesting, irregular ways. Seen from above (right), the beads catch my camera’s flash. The mottled pattern in the almost-clear ice shelf are droplets of water on the underside. Depending upon temperature fluctuations, these droplets freeze or fall into the rushing water.