A little armchair travel for those of you who may have never had the opportunity to see this: Niagara Falls, partially frozen into spectacular blue-tinged stalactites amidst cold blue tumbles of water raising billows of white mist.
The Niagara River doesn’t always freeze — in fact, it has never completely frozen over, but it came extremely close in 1848 when an ice jam blocked up the falls, except for a few trickles, for almost two days.
In 1912 the American Falls froze solid, which must have been an amazing sight. This year, they look like a scene out of Nordic mythology.
Our Canadian Falls are still flowing freely, except for rivulets through the rock layers that have frozen on their downward drop.
Between the two Falls, more gigantic blue icicles dot the rock layers. The Falls formed when the last ice sheet retreated 10,000 years ago, but the resulting gorge had a harder top layer of limestone and dolomite over softer shale, and you can see flows of water that have worked their way through only to be petrified before they finished their journey.
Just below the Canadian Falls, chunks of ice have piled on exposed brown rock to look like sugar crystals sprinkled on chocolate chunks.
As the river continues on its way below the Falls toward Lake Erie, this winter it’s a cold steely-blue band on which we were surprised to see someone out on a boat.
Our closest groundhog has predicted an early Spring, but in the meantime we’ve been treated to a beautiful winter wonderland that’s become rare as our globe heats up. I don’t know when we’ll see it again.
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