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Remember: Fogelsville's Frozen Dam

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fogelsville's Frozen Dam


The cold felt thick between the various shirts I had been wearing for insulation. Across the face of the pond, thick ice and a wind dropped from Arctic currents only picked up steam and frigidity as it moved over the frozen water and into me.

In the distance, the top of the dam was visible, but the water rushing and falling over it to smack itself in splashes onto yet more ice was much more stimulating to the auditory sense than the sight of the dam to the eyes. That is, until I meandered farther down the road, alongside the metal guardrail to see the face of the dam.

During prior visits, I had grown accustomed to seeing moss growing in between the cracks of stone and the cool spray of crashing water had been a source of refreshment on many summer afternoons. On this day, the dam itself appeared as if the wall of a frozen cave with crystal stalactites and stalagmites surrounding.

I stood on the thick accumulation of frozen spray and looked. I had never felt such coldness. Each droplet of water hit the exposed skin on my face like a hundred charcoal embers while standing over a grill on a hot summer day. No heat here, in the winter valley of the dam. Around my feet, ice had accumulated in angles on every branch, stone or bramble.


With the thick stratus clouds blocking bare sunlight there was no relief to be found in the valley. Every second that passed I grew dramatically colder and yet I was compelled to stay, to keep looking. I wanted to stare at the frozen formerly falling water. It amazed me to see such raw power immobilized, impotent, eerily still.

Colder yet, my feet would have been better suited in skates than boots as I tried to angle myself for the best possible picture I could take. I am not much of a photographer and my camera isn’t the best in the world but sometimes I can snap one that really expresses the subject I am viewing. No picture here today does justice to the frozen water I witnessed in Fogelsville.

As breathless as the air of January can leave the body, the entirety of what lay before me was profoundly striking. A simple dam turned to a wonder by air turned colder. How genuinely pure and innocent a transition, and so very peaceful; it is the stillness that silently bellows serenity. I could only stare until my hands turned pig ear pink and a return to the car became imperative. Unlike the ice, I could not handle the Arctic chill.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Pooley said...

What a gorgeous post.

January 6, 2010 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very beautiful

January 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Katie Bee said...

so you drove past my house and didn't call me or anything? JERK.

the weir behind my house is freezing up nicely, too.

January 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not bad, not bad at all.

January 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM  

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