Sunday, February 7, 2010

cracking up

on the banks of the Mighty Raritan this afternoon, where the ice was crumpling up on the shoreline. For the most part, the water was flowing pretty fast down the river - but there were the odd thin ice flows, with Canada geese perched rather uncertainly on them, and the ice had clearly been thicker at some recent point.

This picture, of course, presents the cracked ice as if frozen (sorry) in perpetuity. But in fact this ice must move more quickly than tectonic plates: if one could sit there for the whole afternoon, as the sun brought the temperature above freezing, would one see it crack and buckle? For all I know, this photograph catches the moment before things shifted dramatically - but it plays on all the conventions of a stable, abstract geometry to be found in nature.

Perspectives do change, though - here's a new view from our attic... the old, heavy, scary fan has been removed, a new window inserted, and how we can look down on our neighbors from a whole different angle.

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